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Cardinals Figure To Have Moore Rondale In Backfield

Wide receiver getting some snaps at running back in diverse offense

Rondale Moore reached 100 receptions in his first 25 games as a Cardinal, one of only four receivers to do that since 1970. But unlike Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Christian Kirk, the yards that have come off those catches haven't always been plentiful.

That's always been the catch with the third-year wide receiver -- getting him the ball where he can exploit his speed and shiftiness. The new coaching staff has decided that having Moore in the backfield lined up as a running back could work sometimes. That was apparent when he blew through a hole against the Cowboys and blazed his way to a 45-yard touchdown run.

"I think my whole career I've kind of moved around and been able to contribute in a plethora of spots, if you will," Moore said.

One veteran fantasy football pundit suggested that Moore could be like the Chargers' Austin Ekeler, who is an offensive dynamo as a running back in both the run and pass game. The issue there is size -- Ekeler is 5-foot-10, 200 pounds and Moore is 5-7, 180 -- and given that Moore has battled injuries both in college and the NFL, his usage will be something to monitor.

Through three games, Moore has lined up as a slot receiver 72 times, as a receiver out wide 31 times, and as a running back 13 times. In 2022 he lined up as a running back nine times; in 2021 it was 37 for the season.

"He brings a lot to the offense," offensive coordinator Drew Petzing said. "He presents a lot of challenges to the defense. I think you've seen that in every game that we have played. We have moved him around the formation and used him in different roles. On that given (TD) play he took advantage of a really well-blocked play and a good look and took off and did the rest himself. When he put his foot in the ground you could feel his speed and his power."

Moore was used in the backfield five times against the Cowboys (it was once against the Giants and seven times in Washington.)

"You look at stuff he's done in his past and look at what he can do with the ball in his hands and how dynamic he can be," Petzing said. "You say, how many different ways can we get him in that position?"

Moore, on his touchdown run, admitted he didn't know if he'd make it all the way to the end zone. "The honest truth? (Safety Malik Hooker) was hauling tail backside," he said. "I don't know, man. I just kind of threw my head back and let God take the wheel."

If he gets more snaps in the backfield, that's OK with him.

"I'm just trying to win. Point blank, period," Moore said. "Keep the main thing the main thing, and if that contributes to winning, then I'm for it."

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) during the Week 3 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sep 24, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.