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Cardinals Working Through Banged-Up Running Back Room

Notes: Team re-signs Maxx Williams to practice squad

Running back James Conner breaks a tackle during Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Running back James Conner breaks a tackle during Sunday's game against the Eagles.

Kliff Kingsbury had never coached an NFL game when three of his running backs got hurt, but that changed Sunday in the 20-17 loss to the Eagles at State Farm Stadium.

James Conner left the game with a ribs injury. Darrel Williams sustained a knee injury, while Jonathan Ward hurt his hamstring. Kingsbury said Monday the trio of running backs are day-to-day.

"For all three of those guys go down was tough," Kingsbury said. "We'll see how things shake out in the next couple of days and go from there. But Eno Benjamin did a great continuing to play and made some plays late."

That included Benjamin's 11-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to even the game. Benjamin said he dealt with cramps from the leg sleeve he wore on Sunday and didn't know he was the only healthy running back available until late in the game.

"I started asking where certain people were," Benjamin said with a laugh," because I didn't see them anymore. But they told me things were going down and I had to keep pushing."

Depending on how the injuries turn out in the room this week, Kingsbury said he would have confidence in rookie Keaontay Ingram, the last runner on the depth chart, to step up if needed.

"He's very talented," Kingsbury said. "That's why we kept five running backs on the roster; you don't see that much.

"He was really impressive in preseason and has been impressive on scout team. Now it's about making sure he understands the game plan and can execute it at a high level. But his natural gifts are pretty special."


The Cardinals re-signed tight end Maxx Williams to the practice squad on Monday.

The tight end was released last week to open more roster spots for players returning from injured reserve. Williams is very respected in the locker room and someone Kingsbury is glad to have back in the building.

"We want Maxx to be here," Kingsbury said. "We love what he's about. We just want him to continue to work and feel more confident on that leg and that was the biggest thing. I'm sure at some point we'll have him activate again and rocking with us."


Although kicker Matt Ammendola missed a field goal to force overtime on Sunday, Kingsbury reiterated he doesn't regret the decision of looking to the field goal rather than push the issue with time ticking at an attempt at the end zone.

Ammendola was signed last week while Matt Prater nursed an injured right hip. Kingsbury said he's unsure about Prater's timeline this week, adding the team will be cautious with the veteran.

"We're going to work him out on Wednesday and see how he feels," Kingsbury said. "We'll be smart. I want to make sure he's 100 percent before we get him back out there."