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Cardinals Position Overview 2023: Running Back

Team looks like it will recommit to the running game


With minicamp in the rearview mirror and training camp scheduled to start soon, will take a look at the Cardinals' individual position groups during this quiet time in the NFL and give our opinions about where the groups stand prior to camp.

Today, running back.

LOCKS: James Conner

Following a second straight 1,000-scrimmage yard season, Conner returns as RB1. Though his scoring dropped off from the previous season (seven rushing touchdowns compared to 15 in 2021), he remains a real threat near the goal line. Consistent touches is key for Conner. Like most running backs, he seems to perform better on game day as his number of rushing attempts increases. It'll be interesting to see how the new coaching staff decides to use Conner, especially in the passing game. In his two seasons with the Cardinals, he's proven to be a reliable target, and not just on third down.

WORK TO DO: Corey Clement, Keaontay Ingram, Ty'Son Williams, Emari Demercado

Clement was a solid mid-season pickup a year ago. The fact that he was re-signed so early in free agency may indicate he is more of a roster lock. Ingram saw limited action during his rookie campaign, while Williams spent the last half of 2022 on the practice squad. Size-wise, there's not much that separates Ingram and Williams. The wild card here is Demercado, the undrafted free agent out of TCU. He's on the smaller size, so he'll have his work cut out for him. All three – Ingram, Williams, and Demercado – figure to see a lot of action in the preseason.


It would not be a surprise if a veteran running back is added to the room. Between the trio of Ingram, Williams, and Demercado, they have played less than a full season of games. Another experienced back may be needed to help carry the load. Whether the Cardinals seek more of a quicker, scat-back might also be part of the equation.

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