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Cardinals Use 1-2 Punch Of David Johnson, Chase Edmonds Against Seahawks

Running back duo did the most damage for the offense

RB Chase Edmonds had more carries against the Seahawks than he did in the first three games combined.
RB Chase Edmonds had more carries against the Seahawks than he did in the first three games combined.

Kliff Kingsbury has talked about getting Chase Edmonds more touches offensively, but that's easier said than done when David Johnson gobbles up so many snaps.

The Cardinals coach was able to get both of his running backs involved in Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Seahawks, and they were the team's most potent threats in the game.

Johnson had 11 carries for 40 yards and a team-high eight catches for 99 yards. Edmonds carried the ball six times for 37 yards, a healthy 6.2 yards per tote.

"Those two guys can present problems to defenses when they're both in there," Kingsbury said. "I thought it was a pretty solid package for us today."

Edmonds had only five carries in the first three games but was a factor from the jump. He lined up as a receiver on the first play of the contest and took a jet sweep for an 8-yard gain.

"We designed that one play to start us off and get us going with a good tempo," Edmonds said. "Coach Kingsbury, with his creative mind, it was something that was put to good use."

Edmonds ran hard throughout, while Johnson did more of his damage in the passing game. The Seahawks, like the Panthers last week, took away the downfield targets, which made quarterback Kyler Murray routinely look for Johnson as his escape outlet.

"The linebackers were dropping 10, 15 yards down the field," Murray said. "I could have checked the ball down to him the whole game. Some of those plays, just give him the ball, let him do his thing."

Edmonds and Johnson could be needed more by default next week in Cincinnati depending on the prognosis of standout wide receiver Christian Kirk, whose leg was rolled up on late in the contest.

The Cardinals were already down to five active receivers against Seattle because of an injured hamstring for Damiere Byrd and the Monday release of Michael Crabtree. Edmonds and Johnson have been pining to see the field together since the offseason, and they feel like their pass-catching ability out of the slot makes it possible.

"If that's what Coach wants to do, there's not going to be any slack," Edmonds said. "I think we're both more than capable of doing that."

Kingsbury is known for using four wide receivers and passing the ball plenty, but he's also spoken about tailoring the offense to his personnel. Edmonds is pushing to be a regular contributor when the Cardinals have the ball.

"Chase has earned playing time," Kingsbury said. "We wanted to get him involved in the game plan. He does a nice job on special teams and offense. We just felt like it's time to expand his role."

Larry Fitzgerald had a quieter day than normal but he said the receivers don't mind more emphasis on the running backs if that's what helps move the ball.

"It all works in our favor," Fitzgerald said. "It doesn't matter who's getting the yards as long as the yards are coming. We're all the same offense."

Johnson still had a heavy workload, but appreciated the element of surprise during the two-back looks.

"With Chase being in there, the defense doesn't know who's getting the ball or what we're doing," Johnson said.

Images from the Week 4 matchup at State Farm Stadium