Arizona Cardinals sign S Chris Banjo to practice squad
Trusted special teams leader Chris Banjo rejoined the Arizona Cardinals practice squad on Thursday, the team announced.
Banjo, a nine-year NFL veteran, appeared in 16 games for Arizona last season and 26 more the two years prior. He remained unsigned this offseason but joined the Cardinals after they released fellow backup safety and special teamer Deionte Thompson on Tuesday.
Thompson was the personal protector for punter Andy Lee on Sunday when the attempt was blocked following the first offensive series of the game.
The roster move left Arizona with only two safeties on the 53-man roster, starters Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson.
While star backer Isaiah Simmons in a pinch could potentially slide to safety as he’s lost snaps at his current position, Banjo gives defensive coordinator Vance Joseph a familiar plug-and-play piece if the team elevates him for gameday. Banjo also gives special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers a ready-to-go option.
Banjo played for the Green Bay Packers from 2013-16 and the New Orleans Saints from 2016-18 before joining the Cardinals in 2019.
The 32-year-old posted his most productive NFL season in 2020, when he stepped into a starting role for four games and recorded 48 tackles, a pass defensed and a tackle for loss.
Banjo has 53 special teams tackles over the course of his career.