Robbie Anderson underwhelms despite hefty snap count vs. Seahawks
Nov 7, 2022, 3:15 PM | Updated: 5:13 pm
TEMPE — New Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Robbie Anderson has yet to make his presence felt three weeks into his tenure in the desert.
But after two weeks of slowly kneading the wideout into Arizona’s offense, picking up just 17 snaps over that span, Anderson finally earned a start and was on the field for 83% of the available offensive snaps (52) in the team’s Week 9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals offense, Anderson did nothing with the opportunity, finishing with just one catch on three targets for negative four yards. He was also the culprit of a false start and a wide-open drop on third down that would have moved the chains.
Given he’s the team’s best deep threat who is currently healthy, getting Anderson in the mix is critical moving forward, especially over the next two weeks against divisional foes.
“It’s expected. In season, there’s not a lot of time for teaching when you’re instilling and trying to win games,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said when asked about Anderson’s output so far.
“He’s done a good job. He’s been on it studying hard. It’s just one thing to study it, know it and then go in the game and it’s full speed and execute at a high level. We’ll keep feeding him reps and hopefully he gets comfortable here pretty quickly.”
A look at some of the other snap counts that stood out in the Cardinals’ defeat on Sunday:
RG Lecitus Smith: 54 offensive snaps (86%)
Despite a false start penalty and giving up a sack, Smith filled in admirably for starting right guard Will Hernandez, who exited the matchup early in the first quarter with a pectoral injury and did not return.
Garnering 54 snaps in the trenches, Smith saw the most playing time of his career up to this point. Before Sunday, the lineman had just eight offensive reps under his belt.
While Kingsbury said Hernandez is out against the Rams this week, Max Garcia is still an option if he can return from a shoulder issue. Otherwise, Smith could see his number called when the Cardinals travel to Los Angeles.
RB James Conner: 45 offensive snaps (71%)
In his return from a three-game absence due to a ribs injury, Conner saw more available snaps than he had all season outside of Week 1 (72%).
Conner clearly retook his role as the team’s lead back, with Eno Benjamin’s playing time taking a big hit. Benjamin had filled in at starting RB for Conner during the three weeks the veteran was sidelined.
The ample time on the field didn’t amount to much for the running back, though, recording 45 yards on seven carries to go along with five catches for 19 yards.
WR A.J. Green: One offensive snap (2%)
After recording just one target last week, Green saw just one offensive snap in the Week 9 loss to Seattle.
Despite Anderson’s lack of involvement and the need for the deep ball, Green continues to find himself on the outside looking in.
So far this season, Green’s best single-game effort came back in Week 6 when he caught three of five targets for 20 yards.
OLB Myjai Sanders: 21 defensive snaps (29%)
It was another week of upped play for Sanders, who saw a career-high in snaps on Sunday.
With linebacker Dennis Gardeck out, Sanders was one of the young Cardinals to see added reps.
He finished the game with a tackle and a QB hit.
OLB Jesse Luketa: 10 defensive snaps (14%)
Another rookie, another career mark in snaps.
After seeing very few snaps over the past three weeks, Luketa notched double-digit reps for the first time as a pro.
He also logged eight special teams snaps (30%).
ILB Kamu Grugier-Hill: 12 special teams snaps (44%)
In his first action as a Cardinal, KGH was used solely as a special teamer, something defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said would be the case last week.
The likely next step will be integrating him into the defense in some capacity.
OL Sean Harlow: Three special teams snaps (11%)
Harlow’s three special team snaps are surprising for the lone fact he didn’t see any offensive reps despite the injury to Hernandez.
Kingsbury said after the game the reasoning behind the move was to preserve Harlow at the center spot.
“We like where Lecitus has been, and Harlow’s our backup center so you kind of risk some injury there and would be in a tough bind,” Kingsbury said after the game.
Still, for a player who was repping at both guard and center throughout training camp and this season, the absence in the trenches is something to monitor moving forward.