Back in August, the Arizona Cardinals realized that they needed a running back. Starter James Conner was fantastic both on the field and in the locker room, but the veteran's injury-prone nature was a bit concerning. With nothing but inexperience behind Conner on the depth chart, the onus was on the Cards to add an accomplished ball-carrier to the mix.
Marlon Mack, a former 100-yard rusher with the Indianapolis Colts, was brought on board. Unfortunately, the union didn't last very long. Just five days after signing with Arizona, Mack ruptured an Achilles tendon during a training camp practice, and that was that.
Instead of looking for a replacement for Mack, Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort forced the team to forge ahead with their band of youngsters. Right on cue, Conner suffered a knee injury in Week 5, and the squad's rushing attack has taken a turn for the worst. Rookie Emari Demercado and second-year pro Keaontay Ingram have received the bulk of the carries since Conner was sidelined, but the results have been unremarkable.
The time has come for Ossenfort to address the situation once again, and there happens to be a gifted ball-carrier who's rumored to be on the trade block. Zack Moss, a fourth-year professional from the Colts, would be an ideal fit for the Redbirds offense. Would the Arizona front office be interested in acquiring the talented 25-year-old?
Arizona Cardinals could be an ideal landing spot for running back Zack Moss
It would make sense for Indianapolis to deal the 5 foot 9, 205 pound Moss. Three weeks ago, the franchise signed superstar back Jonathan Taylor to a three-year, $42 million contract extension. After sitting out the first four matchups, the 24-year-old Taylor is slowly but surely regaining his role as the Colts' bellcow back.
With that being the case, it's inevitable that Moss will be looking to catch on with an organization that will afford him more playing time. Conner is undependable, and could very well be in his final season with the Cards. The 28-year-old has one year remaining on the contract he inked in 2022, but moving on from Conner in 2024 would leave the franchise with just $3 million in dead salary cap money.
Moss has been magnificent for the Indianapolis scoring attack this fall. In six games (five starts), the former University of Utah product has rushed for an impressive 523 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. As an added bonus, Moss has also contributed 115 yards and another score on his 15 receptions for the Colts.
The time has come for Ossenfort to start collecting pieces for the future. A large infusion of talent would put head coach Jonathan Gannon on the right path to achieving his lofty goals. An acquisition like Moss would be an excellent place to start.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference and salary information provided by Spotrac.com)