Cards ‘feel good about’ James Conner, Chase Edmonds playing vs. Lions

Dec 17, 2021, 11:35 AM | Updated: 10:03 pm

Running back James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football past outside linebacker L...

Running back James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football past outside linebacker Leonard Floyd #54 of the Los Angeles Rams during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 13, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 30-23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals saw two starters return to the practice fold on Friday, with running back James Conner and offensive lineman Justin Pugh back among teammates.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said on Friday that he “feels good about” Conner and fellow rusher Chase Edmonds, who is designated to return for injured reserve, playing against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, while the team is “hopeful” Pugh will be able to play.

Conner was a DNP for the team’s estimation of practice on Wednesday before missing Thursday’s session with an ankle injury suffered in Monday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Edmonds was not listed on the team’s injury report after missing the last four games due to an ankle sprain but still has to be activated off of IR.

Pugh was a limited participant in Wednesday’s estimation with a calf issue before being downgraded to a DNP on Thursday after coming down with an illness.

The return of Conner or Pugh would be a big boost for an Arizona team looking to bounce back from its MNF defeat. Especially for an offensive line that will be without starting center Rodney Hudson, who was placed on the COVID-19 list Thursday.

Conner has proven to be one of the team’s biggest offensive weapons this season, rushing for a team-high 661 yards and 14 touchdowns through 13 weeks of action.

The running back hasn’t been limited to the ground game, either, chipping in another 29 receptions (31 targets), including a handful of one-handed snags, for 303 yards and two scores.

Pugh hasn’t played an offensive snap since Week 9 due to his lingering calf injury. He was active for the Monday night game, but only played five special team snaps. Kingsbury said Tuesday that when Pugh is healthy he will be inserted back into the starting lineup.

Garnering snaps in Pugh’s absence has been Sean Harlow, who has started at left guard since Pugh went down against the San Francisco 49ers.

Despite Pugh being sidelined for multiple weeks, Arizona still sits 10th in the NFL in terms of passing yards per game with 252.2 and 12th in rushing yards per game with 122.5.

The Cardinals take on the Lions at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station for all the action.

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