Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury encouraged by OL Cody Ford’s debut

Oct 23, 2022, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:07 am

Greg Dortch #83 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during...

Greg Dortch #83 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the 3rd quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints at State Farm Stadium on October 20, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Cody Ford was thrown into the fire Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints, making his team debut after starting left guard Max Garcia went to the locker room with a shoulder injury.

Ford was designated to return from injured reserve Tuesday after missing the first six weeks of the season with an ankle issue.

The Cardinals added starting left guard Justin Pugh to injured reserve (knee) Thursday and activated Ford ahead of their 42-34 victory over New Orleans.

The 25-year-old, who was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills ahead of the season, played 53 offensive snaps, 80% of the team’s share.

“I thought he came in there and did a nice job,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Friday. “I mean, that’s without practicing literally for five weeks, no pads, anything. So (he) got in there and knew what to do and it was good to see him.”

Ford did not allow a sack or pressure, according to Pro Football Focus, nor did he get called for a penalty during his outing.

Arizona had to work with multiple backups on Thursday with Pugh and center Rodney Hudson out with injuries. However, Arizona’s offense produced 137 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the win.

“They tell me before the game the rotation or whatever … but whoever is out there is out there,” quarterback Kyler Murray said postgame. “I have full confidence in whoever is out there. They did well tonight, they did their job.”

The Cardinals have more recovery time for their next game after playing on Thursday Night Football, but Ford could see a greater role depending on Garcia’s injury outlook.

For the first time in the regular season, Ford is available for a full week a practice to prepare.

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