Cardinals’ Kingsbury: ‘Nothing major’ regarding James Conner’s shin injury

Jan 2, 2023, 4:52 PM

James Conner...

Arizona Cardinals RB James Conner (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals got some good news in terms of starting running back James Conner’s shin injury this week.

Despite the running back leaving the team’s Week 17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons prematurely, Conner avoided serious injury.

“He’s day to day, that’s all I heard as of now,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “It was nothing major, which was good. X-rays were negative but we’ll see how he feels the next couple of days.”

Conner may not have finished the contest on Sunday, but he still made his presence felt for most of the outing, recording at least 100 scrimmage yards for the third-straight game.

The running back isn’t quite having the same success as last season from a rushing touchdown standpoint — 15 compared to seven. He has, however, already surpassed his 2021 rushing yards (752) with 782 through 13 games played. He’s also caught more passes this season (46 to 37).

Filling in for Conner when he went down was running back Corey Clement. The only other Cardinals running back to record a carry, Clement finished with 32 yards on seven attempts, both season highs.

He, along with rookie Keaontay Ingram, could see more work coming their way this week if Conner isn’t full-go by Sunday.

Conner isn’t the only player banged up entering the week, either.

Joining the RB in the day-to-day club is wideout Hollywood Brown, who is dealing with an undisclosed injury but was seen holding his left arm on Sunday.

“I haven’t heard anything new, but it wasn’t anything that showed up on the X-ray,” Kingsbury said.

Entering the final week of the season, Brown paces the team in receptions with 66 and trails DeAndre Hopkins (717) in receiving yards with 702 and Zach Ertz (four) in receiving touchdowns with three.

Speaking of Hopkins, the wide receiver is another name to keep tabs on this week as he deals with a knee injury that popped up on Friday and forced him out of Arizona’s matchup in Atlanta. Kingsbury said they’ll “see how he feels this week.”

And when it comes down to injured starting cornerbacks Antonio Hamilton and Marco Wilson, Kingsbury sounds much more optimistic about the former’s game status for Sunday.

“Ham would be one that hopefully we can get back but I’m not sure,” Kingsbury said. “We’ll talk this afternoon and see where his back’s at.”

If either Wilson or Hamilton can’t go in Week 18, rookie Christian Matthew will surely be in line for another hefty workload after playing every available defensive snap for the first time in his career against the Falcons.

The rookie finished with two tackles and a pass defensed while leaving a good impression on his head coach.

“That’s a tall task for a rookie who hadn’t played a lot. I thought he did a nice job,” Kingsbury said. “The more he plays, the more confident he gets, the more comfortable he gets.

“He just needs to keep coming on. He’s got good size and length. He’s an older rookie … and so he’s mature, just has to play more. I thought he made some nice plays on the football.”

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Cardinals’ Kingsbury: ‘Nothing major’ regarding James Conner’s shin injury