CARDINALS CORNER

Arizona Cardinals weighing kicking options with Matt Prater banged up

Oct 3, 2022, 3:18 PM

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

TEMPE — Kicker Matt Prater represents a rather large question mark for the Arizona Cardinals entering Week 5.

Picking up a hip injury at practice last week, Prater still managed his normal kicking duties in most of the team’s 26-16 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

That was until the fourth quarter when Prater handed over kickoffs to emergency kicker and running back Eno Benjamin while still manning field goals and extra points, which the Cardinals avoided on their final touchdown of the day.

Prater didn’t miss a beat despite the injury, going a perfect 2-for-2 on both field goals and extra points. His longest make of the day came from 39 yards out.

“He’s a little sore today,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “We’ll see how it goes throughout the week, but he really toughed it out for those couple of kicks and kicked really well until he couldn’t any longer. Eno came in and did what he could.

“I just appreciate Matt pushing through,” the head coach added. “He didn’t feel great all week and just kind of rested until the game and made a couple big kicks that we needed when we were struggling offensively and kicked off really well.”

This season, Prater is a perfect 6-for-6 in field goals with a long of 49 yards. He’s 4-for-4 on extra points and has recorded 10 touchbacks on 15 kickoffs through four games.

With Prater’s status up in the air entering Week 5, the Cardinals are currently working through backup plans.

One of which is bringing in outside kickers, something Kingsbury said was on the docket for the week.

Among the players that worked out for the team on Monday was former Indianapolis Colt Rodrigo Blankenship, per ESPN’s Field Yates.

Over three seasons of work (22 games), Blankenship is 45-for-54 (83.3%) with a career-long of 53 yards. He is 52-for-55 in extra points (94.5%) and has 19 touchbacks in 30 kickoffs.

And in case of emergency, Arizona could always break the glass of Benjamin again midgame — even if it’s just for kickoffs.

“I think there was a lot of good and bad — not bad I should say — but there was a lot of people making fun of the whole thing,” Benjamin said Monday of his performance.

“And just the fact that I was able to get the tackle (on the first kickoff), I think a lot of people were actually pumped up about it.”

Comments

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

Cardinals Corner

Budda Baker runs out of the tunnel...

Tyler Drake

Budda Baker sets the tone as Arizona Cardinals training camp kicks off

Budda Baker isn't letting his contract situation impact the way he leads the team, made evident by his impromptu speech ahead of camp.

11 hours ago

Dante Stills looks on during offseason work...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals training camp battles: Defensive line

Maybe the most important of the Arizona Cardinals' upcoming training camp battles is the defensive line room.

19 hours ago

Bj Ojulari looks on...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals training camp battles: Pass rusher

Three Arizona Cardinals come to mind when thinking about the upcoming battle at pass rusher this training camp.

2 days ago

Starling Thomas catches a ball during Cardinals OTAs...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals training camp battles: CB1

The battle for CB1 and the remaining starting roles in the Cardinals secondary may take the cake for the most impactful this training camp.

3 days ago

Trey Benson participates in the 2024 NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals training camp battles: Trey Benson vs. Michael Carter

The battle at RB2 between rookie Trey Benson and veteran Michael Carter could end being one of the tightest this training camp.

6 days ago

Clayton Tune and Desmond Ridder get reps in during offseason work...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals training camp battles: Desmond Ridder vs. Clayton Tune for QB2

After covering WR2 and left guard, it's time to dive into the Cardinals' QB2 battle between Desmond Ridder and Clayton Tune.

6 days ago

Arizona Cardinals weighing kicking options with Matt Prater banged up