TE Dan Arnold makes impression before, during Arizona Cardinals debut

Dec 15, 2019, 8:25 PM | Updated: Dec 16, 2019, 11:13 am

Tight end Dan Arnold #82 of the Arizona Cardinals spikes the ball in celebration after scoring a to...

Tight end Dan Arnold #82 of the Arizona Cardinals spikes the ball in celebration after scoring a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of the NFL football game at State Farm Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Running back Kenyan Drake got a whole couple of days to learn the Arizona Cardinals’ offense before he ran all over the San Francisco 49ers back in his Week 9 debut.

So by that standard, tight end Dan Arnold got an eternity to play catch-up.

A waiver-wire claim 10 days before Arizona’s 38-24 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Arnold made his debut and caught a six-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone just before the end of the first half.

Quarterback Kyler Murray wasn’t surprised by Arnold’s Cardinals debut, adding that “everybody was kind of on notice” from his 10 days being with the team.

“I’ve never had a guy that big that can do what he can do,” Murray said. “It’s pretty nice.”

It was one play in front of fans at State Farm Stadium, but Arnold apparently has gotten the attention of his coaches and teammates from the jump.

“Well, the first day he came in and he caught about two of those on practice squad,” receiver Christian Kirk said. “He quickly worked his way into the gameplan.”

A product of University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Arnold recorded 12 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown over 10 games last season for the New Orleans Saints. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound tight end appeared in two games with the Saints this season before being released.

He made quick order of making an impact with the Cardinals, tip-toeing the back of the end zone and then spiking the ball a la one of the NFL’s best tight ends in history after his touchdown was confirmed.

“I knew the sideline was pretty close,” he said. “They didn’t give me a signal, so I was like ‘OK, I don’t know about this’ so I didn’t want to celebrate too early. Then they gave me a touchdown signal, so it was good.”

Arnold adds intrigue as head coach Kliff Kingsbury searches for weapons to help his offense.

Getting a look at key future pieces is priority number one for the Cardinals in the final two games of the year.

Already, they’ve gotten a pretty good look at Drake over the past six games, and the running back’s four-touchdown night Sunday did more to confirm their beliefs about his fit.

They released Terrell Suggs to see how Cassius Marsh and Haason Reddick play at outside linebacker, but the latter went down with a groin injury against the Browns.

Add Arnold to the conversation when it comes to the Cardinals’ roster-evaluating as they look toward 2020.

“(Tight ends coach Steve Heiden) got him caught up,” Kingsbury said of the Arnold’s learning curve. “They’ve been working around the clock to make him comfortable, He’s a threat in the passing game, there’s no doubt, and went up and made a great play. We had some other things that I didn’t get to in the gameplan but hopefully he can continue to feel comfortable there and we can use him more.”

Presented By
Western Governors University

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals fans...

Arizona Sports

Did the Chargers GM tease a Cardinals draft-day trade?

The Cardinals are not looking for a quarterback, but Chargers GM Joe Horitz said his team could have its pick of the top non-QB in the draft.

21 hours ago

Monti Ossenfort speaks at the NFL Combine...

Tyler Drake

NFL mock draft tracker: What will the Cardinals do with the No. 4 pick?

A look at the players being mocked to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 overall in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

2 days ago

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort talks to reporters...

Tyler Drake

Monti Ossenfort keeping trade options open as Cardinals’ draft board nears completion

The Arizona Cardinals have about 95% of their draft board completed about a week out from the NFL Draft and continue to look at all avenues.

3 days ago

Monti Ossenfort looks on during the 2023 NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Daniel Jeremiah: NFL Draft is Cardinals’ moment to set up franchise for years to come

The 2024 NFL Draft marks a big set-your-franchise-up situation for the Arizona Cardinals, says NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah.

3 days ago

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill speaks at a press conference...

Tyler Drake

Michael Bidwill: Cardinals ‘aligned on getting this thing right’ in 2024

Michael Bidwill believes the Cardinals aren't that far off from really turning things around under Jonathan Gannon and Monti Ossenfort.

4 days ago

Marvin Harrison Jr....

Nick Borgia

Marvin Harrison Jr. remains Cardinals top pick in latest ESPN mock

With the 2024 NFL draft just around the corner, ESPN's latest mock draft details what could be in store for the Cardinals' first six picks.

5 days ago

TE Dan Arnold makes impression before, during Arizona Cardinals debut