The Arizona Cardinals roster is stacked with quality backup players waiting patiently for a chance to contribute to the club
The 2016 season has not gone the way the Arizona Cardinals had hoped. More than a few NFL analysts had the team representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Sure, there have been a weak area or two, but on paper the club still has a very deep roster. Because of the strong depth there’s players not receiving the playing time they rightfully deserve. Working them into game plans going forward may not be a bad strategy.
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The groin injury that landed running back Chris Johnson on injured reserve should’ve created an opportunity for Andre Ellington. Although Ellington has the skills of a dynamic player, he’s been utilized very little. He’s had past success as a pass-catcher, perhaps Bruce Arians can figure out how to showcase that skill.
Rookie defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche may be on the verge of seeing some playing time. He’s been nursing a sore ankle but has also been a bit slow learning the defense. Adding a potentially explosive player like Nkemdiche to a defense that appears to be finding itself is an exciting thought.
Wide receiver Jaron Brown could be starting on more than a few teams, but sees very few snaps in Arizona. He has great size, above average speed and very good hands. Many observers of the team believe he should be seeing more playing time than the struggling Michael Floyd.
The Cardinals still haven’t found a consistent pass-receiving option at the tight end position. Ifeanyi Momah has the skill set to become that option. Using him split out wide on passing downs would be a way for him to show what he can do.
While Marcus Cooper seems to have solved the Cards’ cornerback problem, Tharold Simon is another intriguing option at the position. He has the size the coaches covet in their corners, and has been used some in nickel and dime packages. He has enough upside to be contributing much more in the upcoming games.
Great depth is a sign of a championship team, and it’s something Arizona appears to have. Whether that depth is used or not is gonna depend on the coaching staff. There’s certainly players chomping at the bit to make the Cardinals better.