Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin kept ‘answering the bell’ in TNF victory

Oct 21, 2022, 8:50 AM

Eno Benjamin #26 of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball as Marcus Davenport #92 of the New Orlea...

Eno Benjamin #26 of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball as Marcus Davenport #92 of the New Orleans Saints chases during the 1st quarter of the game at State Farm Stadium on October 20, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin had a career night to propel Arizona to a 42-34 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football.

The third-year back, in his second game filling in for injured starter James Conner, picked up 113 yards from scrimmage, fighting for every last one of them.

His 5-yard touchdown rush in the third quarter to put Arizona up 42-24 encapsulated that relentlessness.

Benjamin was hit and started going down three yards shy of the end zone on second-and-goal, but the tailback drove his body forward and fully extended the football out. The ball snuck over the goal line for the score, Benjamin’s second in three games.

“He’s one of those players, I mean, he got drafted late, but he’s always been a great football player,” quarterback Kyler Murray said postgame.

“I’ve been familiar with Eno since high school growing up in Texas, he’s been a great football player ever since I can remember. I’m not surprised by anything that he’s accomplished or will accomplish in the future. He runs hard, always falls forward, can catch the rock. He’s a good football player.”

The former Arizona State Sun Devil gained a career-high 92 rushing yards on 12 carries for an average of 7.7 yards per rush.

He earned 3.54 rushing yards over expected per run, according to NextGen Stats, showing he made the most of his chances.

A 45-yard breakout run on a draw in the first half got him going.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury stated that Conner remains the Cardinals’ starter when healthy. The veteran has missed consecutive games due to a ribs injury he suffered in Week 5.

Benjamin struggled to find space last week in Seattle with 37 yards on 15 carries, but Kingsbury said his running back answered the call on Thursday.

“I’ve been really proud of Eno,” Kingsbury said. “He was getting touches when James was healthy, and he’ll continue to get touches, but to watch his development, like I said all along, for the last three years, he just keeps getting better and and keeps answering the bell when his number is called.

“It’s been great to see.”

Conner was questionable to play Thursday and ruled out on game day. Arizona has a mini-bye week to get players back from injury before its next matchup, a road game against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 30.

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