He didn’t arrive to the Cardinals with the same fanfare of former Scottsdale Saguaro High School teammate Christian Kirk, but running back D.J. Foster still had left his impression on the team.
So the news Monday that Foster had torn the ACL and MCL in his left knee – suffered covering a kickoff against the Cowboys Sunday – figures to make an impact on what would have been the final 53-man roster.
“Personally, I’m just saddened for him,” coach Steve Wilks said. “He had a great training camp, performing well and doing some great things, even on special teams. It’s a major hit to the room. Anytime you lose a guy it’s disappointing, and the guys feel it as well.”
Defensive end Arthur Moats, battling for a roster spot, also sprained his MCL, which likely puts him out for two-to-four weeks.
Foster, who originally signed with the Cardinals last year from the Patriots' practice squad, was battling in the running back room for a spot behind starter David Johnson and rookie backup Chase Edmonds. Because Foster had a greater range of special teams abilities than T.J. Logan, Foster had emerged throughout the offseason and training camp as No. 3 on the depth chart.
Foster tweeted out that “I’ve never been through an injury like this before, and it’s amazing to see all the support and love I’ve already received.”
The injury aids Logan’s quest to make the team. Logan played well at running back against the Cowboys, breaking off a 59-yard touchdown run and gaining 86 yards rushing total on only six carries.
“(T.J.) has shown some of things he’s shown in college,” Wilks said. “Very explosive. He has the speed to take it the distance, which you saw (Sunday.) He gives you some flexibility in the kicking game from the standpoint of the return game.
“He’s been doing some good things. Now he’ll have more opportunities to step up.”
In terms of the roster and upcoming cuts – teams must shave from 90 players to 53 by Saturday afternoon – Wilks insisted Thursday’s finale against the Broncos still figures to impact the roster decisions.
Foster’s injury and the running backs are an example of how quickly a plan can change.
“(GM) Steve (Keim) and I haven’t even talked about (the roster),” Wilks said. “I know you can say there are some obvious guys, of course, but I think a lot goes into it. Even with this last preseason game, things can shake out.”