ARIZONA CARDINALS

ESPN: Cardinals OT Humphries has a make-or-break season ahead

Jul 9, 2019, 8:22 AM
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

D.J. Humphries should have a grand opportunity in front of him. For the first time in his career, his quarterback should be operating in his favor.

What rookie signal-caller Kyler Murray will lack in experience he should make up for in mobility and a quick trigger arm.

The Arizona Cardinals have allowed 52 quarterback sacks in each of the past two years, making for a total tied for the second-worst mark over that span, and it’s the offensive line health and production that could swing head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s first season in the NFL. Humphries falls in line with that thought, and considering it’s a contract year for the left tackle, probably no other player on the roster has such a significant fork in the road in front of him for the 2019 season.

That’s why Humphries made ESPN’s list of 10 NFL players entering make-or-break years.

Injuries have kept the 2015 first-round pick from attaining the potential the Cardinals saw in him, and he’s playing this season on a $9.625 million fifth-year rookie contract option. All eyes are on the ability of the Cardinals’ offensive line to protect top overall pick Kyler Murray, and a healthy and productive Humphries would go a long way toward helping with that.

For the Cardinals, a decision to retain their starting left tackle or let him walk will await them at the end of the year.

Humphries has been the victim of bad injury luck and a disappointing situation. Drafted 24th overall in 2015 as a high-upside pick, he was infamously nicknamed “Knee-deep” by former head coach Bruce Arians as the NFL learning curve smacked him in the face as a rookie.

Two MCL injuries limited him to five games in 2017, but he flashed his upside in that limited span. Humphries appeared in nine games last year before another knee issue ended his season with an appointment on the injured reserve list.

Humphries isn’t the only wild card along the Cardinals offensive line. Injuries have affected potential starters at every other position.

But the situation should benefit Humphries and his teammates; that includes an offense where the ball is getting to the perimeter quickly and more often, a quarterback who might be one of the fastest players on the field and a running back in David Johnson who wants to show he’s one of the most dynamic players in the NFL.

Those things should give Humphries a chance — if he can remain healthy.

Array
Life Changer Loans

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals receiver Andy Isabella was cut Tuesday. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
Arizona Sports

WR Andy Isabella cut by Arizona Cardinals, who sign OL Billy Price

Wide receiver Andy Isabella's tenure with the Arizona Cardinals has come to an end. Arizona also signed offensive lineman Billy Price.
14 hours ago
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Matt Ammendola, right, is congratulated by James Winchester (41) after ki...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals sign K Matt Ammendola to practice squad with Matt Prater dinged up

The Cardinals are providing kicking depth by signing Matt Ammendola while Matt Prater resolves a hip injury that cropped up last week.
14 hours ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals and head coach Kliff Kingsbury wait along the sidelines du...
Tyler Drake

Kliff Kingsbury on exchange with Kyler Murray: Both ‘want to get it right’

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury chalked up his heated exchange with Kyler Murray that was picked up by cameras on Sunday as a good thing.
14 hours ago
Philadelphia Eagles' Miles Sanders scores a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game...
Associated Press

Behind Enemy Lines: Miles Sanders quietly starring for undefeated Eagles

Take a look at all the players getting credit this season for the Eagles' start and it's easy to see why Miles Sanders was overlooked.
2 days ago
Ian Thomas #80 of the Carolina Panthers is tackled by Isaiah Simmons #9 of the Arizona Cardinals du...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons’ snap count sees serious jump vs. Panthers

It was a near-full team effort from Arizona, with 47 players seeing their number called at some point or another in Week 4.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals kicker Matt Prater (5) watches his field goal attempt hit the goal post during th...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals weighing kicking options with Matt Prater banged up

Injured kicker Matt Prater represents a rather large question mark for the Arizona Cardinals entering Week 5.
2 days ago
ESPN: Cardinals OT Humphries has a make-or-break season ahead