Fun fact: Jeff King caught the first of 17 touchdown passes Kevin Kolb would throw as an Arizona Cardinal.
The 48-yard reception was the longest catch of the veteran’s career, and given that he was essentially brought in as a “blocking tight end,” it was certainly a nice surprise.
Since then King has been solid for the Cardinals, though he had just 17 receptions for 129 yards and no touchdowns in last season. Entering a new year with a new coaching staff, offseason knee surgery and subsequent swelling has kept him, for the most part, out of practice and preseason games.
But that’s changing, as King practiced Thursday and is hoping to play Saturday against the San Diego Chargers.
“Watching these guys practice, to be honest with you, has been absolutely miserable,” King said of sitting out.
King said he’s tried to help out as much as he can with teaching the younger players, but being on the sidelines “gets old real quick.”
The 30-year-old King is entering his eighth NFL season, the first five of which were played as a member of the Carolina Panthers. Head coach Bruce Arians said that King does have a résumé and that the staff knows what he can do, but at the same time would like to see it in person.
“It helps all of us to see him still do it,” he said.
So, assuming there are no setbacks for King, before kickoff, he will get back into the tight end competition, joining Rob Housler, Alex Gottlieb, Jim Dray, Kory Sperry and D.C. Jefferson.
He doesn’t necessarily feel any extra pressure in trying to win a spot, noting that he understands he’s always fighting for a job, and being hurt hasn’t helped.
“Bruce has been great, but believe me, I know that time’s ticking and I’ve got to get out there and show what I can still do,” he said.