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Cardinals Will Be 'Smart' With Chase Edmonds, James Conner In Finale

Running backs dealing with injuries as playoffs loom

Running back Chase Edmonds with one of his 18 carries Sunday against the Cowboys.
Running back Chase Edmonds with one of his 18 carries Sunday against the Cowboys.

The Cardinals have two good running backs in Pro Bowler James Conner and Chase Edmonds.

In a quest to make sure they will have both available and ready for the playoffs, there is a chance neither will play in the regular-season finale against the Seahawks on Sunday.

"We're going to try to be smart," coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday, a day after the Cardinals beat the Cowboys, 25-22. "We're going to see how they progress the next couple of days. I don't exactly how much we'll use them, but we want to make sure they are ready for the playoffs.

"That's when we have been at our best, when both those guys are healthy and getting to play and take snaps off of each other. We'd like to get back to that."

Teaming the two has been impossible over the past two months. Since the Cardinals lost their first game to the Packers on Oct. 28 in Week 8, Conner and Edmonds have played just one full game together -- the loss in Detroit in Week 15. Edmonds was hurt on the first play of the Week 9 game in San Francisco and essentially missed five games, and Conner has now sat the last two.

Just as Edmonds was coming off his high ankle sprain, Conner -- who had gotten 90 percent of the work in Edmonds' absence, and whom Kingsbury was hoping to shave down his touches for health reasons -- hurt his heel. In the four-plus games Edmonds missed, Conner averaged 58 snaps and 22 touches a game.

The last two games, it is the smaller Edmonds with the heavy work -- 121 snaps and 47 touches -- and was clearly favoring his midsection late in the win at Dallas.

On the season, Conner has 16 total touchdowns and 1,034 yards from scrimmage. Edmonds has 903 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns.

Kingsbury would "love for them to play," but he also has Eno Benjamin and Jonathan Wardavailable, along with practice squad running back Tavien Feaster.

"We're trying to win the game," Kingsbury said. "We want to be playing well going into the playoffs.

"If (Edmonds and Conner) are banged up and can't play at their best we want to get them healthy. But if they can play, they'll play."