Chase Edmonds spent more than a month on the sideline watching his teammates battle without him since suffering an ankle injury Week 9 in San Francisco.
The starting running back is healthier now and should return Sunday against Detroit, a game the Cardinals can clinch a playoff berth with a victory for the first time since 2015.
Kliff Kingsbury said he likes the chance of Edmonds being available on Sunday, and if all goes well before kickoff, expects that to be the case.
"I feel good about it," Kingsbury said. "I think Sunday when he warms up, and if he feels good, he will be rolling."
Kingsbury also is confident in the availability of fellow running back James Conner, who suffered an ankle injury Monday night against the Rams.
Conner has impressed as the workhorse since Edmonds' injury. Through five games and on 85 carries, Conner has 303 rushing yards and six touchdowns. His 14 rushing TD's this season ranks second in the NFL, only behind Indianapolis' Jonathan Taylor (16).
Quarterback Kyler Murray is excited about the likelihood of having both Edmonds and Conner active again in the backfield.
"Just (Chase's) aura out there on the field and in the huddle," Murray said. "Guys feed off him just like they feed off James (Conner). He's got that type of energy and juice about him. He loves the game; he studies the game. He's hungry and ready to come back. I'm excited about it."
HOPEFUL OF PUGH RETURN
In the portion of practice on Friday, offensive lineman Justin Pugh practiced after sitting out Thursday with an illness. Kingsbury said he likes the chances of Pugh returning on Sunday but will continue to monitor the left guard as the game moves closer.
"We think so," Kingsbury said. "We'll see over the next couple of days, but I'm hopeful."
Dealing with a pectoral muscle injury, Cornerback Robert Alford did not practice for the third consecutive day. Kingsbury also confirmed that wideout DeAndre Hopkins has planned for knee surgery but has no timetable on his return.
Cornerback Robert Alford did not practice on Saturday and has been ruled out (pectoral) for Sunday's game. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has also been ruled out (knee).
Conner (ankle), tight end Zach Ertz (hamstring), defensive lineman Leki Fotu (shoulder), defensive line Zach Kerr (ribs), defensive lineman Corey Peters (knee), defensive lineman Jordan Phillips (thumb) and Pugh are questionable.
For the Lions, linebacker Julian Okwara (ankle) and running back D'Andre Swift (shoulder) will miss the game. Linebacker Alex Anzalone (ankle), defensive end Michael Brockers (knee), offensive lineman Will Holden (personal), offensive lineman Jonah Jackson (back), linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder), wide receiver Josh Reynolds (thigh) are questionable.
KIRK SLOTS INTO RIGHT ROLE
The Cardinals' offense this season has been explosive for many reasons, including the decision to make Christian Kirk a full-time slot receiver where he has thrived the most. Through 13 games in 2021, Kirk leads the team in receptions (53), receiving yards (718) and trails only Hopkins (8-4) for the most touchdowns.
"It's been great," Kirk said. "I feel like I'm getting opportunities to make plays and just fit into the flow of the offense – and just hone into what coach Kingsbury asked me to do and what the offense demands from me.
"We have guys that fit their roles perfectly; it's been a good move, and I'm happy with it."
Images of the Cardinals Cheerleaders from our Week 14 game against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football