Cardinals notebook: TE Stephen Anderson leaning on his versatility

Aug 10, 2022, 6:26 PM | Updated: Aug 11, 2022, 11:25 am

Tight end Stephen Anderson #89 of the Arizona Cardinals participants in a team training camp at Sta...

Tight end Stephen Anderson #89 of the Arizona Cardinals participants in a team training camp at State Farm Stadium on August 03, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

GLENDALE — The Arizona Cardinals’ tight ends room is as stacked as it’s ever been.

Zach Ertz is looking to pick up where he left after the joining the team midseason last year, Maxx Williams is back among his teammates following a promising season cut short due to injury and rookie Trey McBride certainly looks the part early on.

So where does that leave a guy like Stephen Anderson on a team that only kept three tight ends on the 53-man roster to start 2021?

“I kind of rest my hat on my versatility,” Anderson said Wednesday. “For those that seen last year, I played fullback a lot. I know this offense typically doesn’t have a fullback but if Kliff decides to then we can.

“Along with my ability to block in space, block in line, line up out wide, line up in the backfield as well as my contributions on special teams, I feel like I have a lane of my own in a sense.”

The six-year veteran looks to carve out a role in Arizona after spending the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. Primarily used as a special teamer, Anderson recorded 271 yards and a touchdown on 24 catches (30 targets).

But with injuries and rest days limiting the trio of Ertz, Williams and McBride this training camp, Anderson has gotten more opportunities to show of his abilities in head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.

Last Wednesday was one of Anderson’s best, with the tight end hauling in a pair of red-zone touchdowns from quarterback Colt McCoy.

“He’s gotten a ton of reps, got a ton of targets and has made the most of it,” Kingsbury said. “I hadn’t seen him utilized as much as we’re utilizing him in the passing game, but he’s stepped up and has done a nice job with it.

“Comes to work every day, knows what to do, physical. We’ve been really pleased with what we’ve seen so far.”

The next step now for Anderson is to put it all together Friday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.

A tale of two Cincys

Veteran wide receiver A.J. Green and rookie outside linebacker Myjai Sanders will return to their old stomping grounds when the team travels to Cincinnati this week.

For Sanders, the matchup against the Bengals carries more weight than just the first NFL preseason game of his career. It’s a return back to where he spent his college days. It’s also where the young outside linebacker became a father.

“I really just look at it as just showing the Bearcats that it’s possible to do something and have the young kids looking up to me asking questions and stuff,” Sanders said Monday.

“Another big reason (why I’m excited to return to Cincinnati) is because that’s where my child was born at. I’d love for her to see me for the first time in a uniform.”

For Green, it’s much more of a business trip.

“I played 10 years there, 10 seasons, had a great time,” he said. “Still got some real close friends who are a part of that organization. It’ll be good to see them, but really no emotions right now (on returning to Cincinnati).”


– Wednesday’s practice saw a large portion of projected starters given the day off for rest and/or recovery. It also allowed those playing Friday to get ample practice reps before heading to Cincinnati.

– Cardinals TE Zach Ertz is coming along with his calf issue, per Kingsbury.

– Kicker Matt Prater celebrated his 38th birthday on Wednesday. He got a nice surprise from his friends and family after practice.


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Marvin Harrison Jr....

Arizona Sports

Cardinals rookies Marvin Harrison Jr., Darius Robinson throw out 1st pitch at D-backs game

The Arizona Cardinals' rookie class took to Chase Field to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Angels.

2 days ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Can the Arizona Cardinals’ elite rushing attack take a step up this season?

Can the Arizona Cardinals' elite rushing attack take a step up this season? Ron Wofley and Paul Calvisi debate.

2 days ago

Max Melton at Cardinals minicamp...

Tyler Drake

Max Melton, Elijah Jones ‘growing together’ alongside Arizona’s young CBs

The makeup of the Cardinals CBs room calls for added competition. It also brings a level of togetherness that's been on display early on.

2 days ago

Kyler Murray...

Ryan Pasiecznik

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray lands in top 50 of NFL player sales list

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray placed 47th in the top 50 NFL players sales list, released recently.

2 days ago

Max Melton and Elijah Jones stop by the Cardinals Corner podcast...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals Corner(s): Max Melton, Elijah Jones talk offseason, smooth NFL transition

It was a double dose of Cardinals guests on the latest episode of Cardinals Corner, with rookies Max Melton and Elijah Jones swinging by.

3 days ago

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon isn’t built for sound bites but has brought in the right vib...

Dan Bickley

Arizona Cardinals are doing right under head coach Jonathan Gannon

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon isn’t built for sound bites but has brought in the right vibes as the team looks to compete in 2024.

3 days ago

Cardinals notebook: TE Stephen Anderson leaning on his versatility