Running backs Alfred Morris, Zach Zenner sign with Arizona Cardinals
Oct 23, 2019, 9:58 AM | Updated: 3:03 pm
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
The Arizona Cardinals announced Wednesday the signings of running backs Alfred Morris and Zach Zenner.
Morris’ signing was first reported Tuesday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and confirmed as a one-year deal by 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro. That news came after the Cardinals released veteran linebacker Ramik Wilson, and a second roster spot opened Wednesday when the club released cornerback Trevor Williams.
Starting running back David Johnson (ankle) and third-stringer D.J. Foster (hamstring) remain day-to-day, and the addition of Morris and Zenner signal Arizona’s lack of confidence that either would be healthy enough to play in Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints.
“Morris has been very productive in this league,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday. “Two-time Pro Bowler, played at a high level for a very long time. Then Zach gives you a lot of flexibility. Very smart, tough, can catch it can run it, and then … has special teams value.”
Kingsbury said Edmonds has had a heavy load of work in practice, so bringing in two running backs will help spread out the reps. As for the injuries, the Cardinals are taking it “a day at a time.”
Morris, 30, has seven years of NFL experience. He played in 12 games for the San Francisco 49ers in 2018, rushing for 428 yards and two touchdowns. A bigger back, Morris had eight receptions for 73 yards last year.
He previously played for the Dallas Cowboys (2016-17) and Washington Redskins (2012-15).
Zenner spent four years with the Lions but played for the Saints this year, appearing in one game and getting one carry for a single yard. His biggest season came in 2016 with Detroit, when Zenner played 14 games and had 88 rushes for 334 yards (3.8 yards per carry) to go with 196 receiving yards for 530 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns.
The Cardinals’ search for a veteran running back spanned well beyond Morris and Zenner. Jay Ajayi, Spencer Ware and Benny Cunningham were expected to visit the team facility, NFL Networks’ Ian Rapoport reported on Monday.
Now it’s Morris and Zenner who could potentially join Chase Edmonds as healthy bodies in a Week 8 road game against the Saints, Zenner’s former team.
Wilson played in one game for Arizona.
A 2015 fourth-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, Wilson played in 16 games for the Los Angeles Rams last season and tallied 35 tackles, two forced fumbles and two passes defensed.
Williams played two games for the Cardinals.Array