Cardinals claim RB Tony Jones off waivers from Saints

Oct 9, 2023, 1:57 PM

Tony Jones Jr. celebrates a touchdown...

Tony Jones Jr. #34 of the New Orleans Saints a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the third quarter in the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals claimed running back Tony Jones Jr. off waivers from the New Orleans Saints on Monday.

The move comes after starter James Conner left the Cardinals’ 34-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter with a knee injury.

It marked the latest ailment for a running backs room that was already without backup Keaontay Ingram, who was inactive Sunday with a neck issue.

In place of Conner and Ingram was undrafted rookie Emari Demercado. The young runner filled in well behind 10 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown. He chipped in another 12 yards on one catch.

The 5-foot-11, 224-pound Jones appeared in four games for the Saints and logged a start in Week 3 before he was released this past week. During that span, he recorded 70 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. He also caught four of his six targets for 21 yards.

The running back joined the Saints as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2020, though he spent most of his time on the practice squad. He appeared in just one game and registered three carries.

Year 2 in New Orleans provided Jones with more opportunity in the form of 11 games played (four starts). More playing time meant more production, with Jones recording 59 offensive touches for 171 scrimmage yards.

His first stint in the Big Easy wouldn’t last much longer than that, however. After appearing in two games the following season, Jones was released by the Saints before the Seattle Seahawks swoped in to claim him.

But after a four-game sample size with Seattle in 2022, Jones headed to Denver the following offseason only to be among the Broncos’ 53-man roster cuts.

That led to his most recent stint with the Saints, where he took on a bigger workload in place of Jamaal Williams (injured) and Alvin Kamara (suspended) dealing with availability issues.

Jones joins a Cardinals RBs room that includes Conner, Ingram and Demercado. Corey Clement and Damien Williams are also options on the practice squad.

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