Arizona Cardinals enter Week 6 with question marks at running back
TEMPE — Kliff Kingsbury experienced something he hadn’t as a head coach in the team’s Week 5 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Kingsbury watched not one, not two, but three of his running backs go down due to injury in the same game.
James Conner exited the game with a ribs injury, Darrel Williams suffered a knee issue and Jonathan Ward pulled his hamstring.
And with Keaontay Ingram a healthy scratch, the only back able to go on Arizona’s sideline was Eno Benjamin.
He turned in a valiant effort handling lead back duties, finishing the contest with eight carries for 25 yards and a touchdown to go along with three catches on four targets for 28 yards. He also had a 19-yard kick return.
As a team, Arizona carried the rock 26 times for 124 yards and the score, averaging 4.8 yards a tote.
“Having all three of those guys go down was tough, we’re going to see how it kind of shakes out the next couple of days and go from there,” Kingsbury said Monday.
“Like I said after the game, Eno did a great job. He was cramping up, continued to play and made some plays late which gave us a chance.”
That additional workload for Benjamin could be in the cards this week, too, given the unknown surrounding the statuses of the trio of banged-up backs. Kingsbury said the team should know more Wednesday.
The injuries could also open up the door for Ingram, who has yet to be active through five games of his rookie campaign.
“He’s very talented, that’s why we kept five (running backs),” Kingsbury said Monday. “You don’t see that a lot, but he was really impressive in preseason, has been impressive on scout team and now it’s just about making sure he understands the game plan and executing at a high level if he gets called upon. His natural gifts are pretty special we think.”
Benjamin couldn’t agree more when it comes down to the rookie and what he could bring to the table if need be.
“He looks good out there at practice, catching the ball, running the ball,” Benjamin said Monday. “He gives us a good look for our defense. … Shoot, I’m even still learning from Keaontay. I never can stop learning. I think he’s a really good back.”