Tough 53-man roster decisions loom for Arizona Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury

Aug 27, 2022, 9:37 PM
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals calls a play during the first half against the ...
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals calls a play during the first half against the Green Bay Packers at State Farm Stadium on October 28, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals wrapped up their preseason slate with a 26-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night.

Next stop, the regular season.

But before Arizona can start playing games that count in the win-loss column, there’s a 53-man roster that needs constructing.

For the most part, head coach Kliff Kingsbury has a good feel on the team’s starters. On the backend, however, there are spots to be had ahead of Tuesday’s final cutdown day.

“Over the next 24-48 hours, we’ll have a bunch of discussions,” Kingsbury told reporters postgame. “There’s some deep rooms. We’re going to have to make some tough decisions and we’ll see how it all plays out.”

Among the loaded positions groups is running back. Arizona will likely keep four running backs with five legitimate candidates to consider.

James Conner is locked in as the team’s starter. Eno Benjamin has taken a step forward. Jonathan Ward brings strong special teams play. Darrel Williams has proven he can be a factor in a high-powered offense. And Keaontay Ingram is a rookie with a lot of potential.

Another room where decisions could be difficult is at wide receiver.

Victor Bolden Jr. flashed at times but it was Greg Dortch and Andy Isabella who really cemented their spots at the back of the depth chart thanks to their consistent play throughout training camp and the preseason.

“I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for both those guys and how they play the game, how they work,” Kingsbury said. “I thought they attacked this camp. They didn’t take a day off, they didn’t take a rep off.

“Both of them, every day, full speed. You see the results. They’re going against other competition and can’t say enough good things about how they played this camp.”

Those aren’t the only positions that need a closer look, either, with outside linebacker and offensive line being no cake walk at the end of the depth chart.

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