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Still Without Chase Edmonds, Cardinals Ride James Conner Again

Running back scores two more touchdowns in loss to Rams

Running back James Conner makes a one-handed catch during the Cardinals' loss to the Rams Monday night.
Running back James Conner makes a one-handed catch during the Cardinals' loss to the Rams Monday night.

The Cardinals are still waiting to get Chase Edmonds back from injury.

But Monday night against the Rams, James Conner again showed while the Cards can ride him at running back for as long as they need, as the veteran had another electrifying performance in a 30-23 loss at State Farm Stadium.

Conner only had 31 yards on 13 carries but added two touchdowns to his season total. With 16 total touchdowns on the year, Conner is tied with Los Angeles Chargers' running back Austin Ekeler and trails only Indianapolis' Jonathan Taylor for the most in the NFL.

"He's a dog," quarterback Kyler Murray said. "Simple."

Only two players in franchise history have more rushing touchdowns: David Johnson (16 TDs in 2016) and John David Crow (14 TDs in 1962). Conner has a rushing touchdown in the last seven games, tying Crow (7 in 1959-1960) for the franchise record for the most consecutive games with a TD.

What's equally as impressive is Conner's contribution to the passing offense, finishing with 94 yards on nine catches on Monday. Conner said the offense, depending on him more, added no extra weight on his shoulders. He actually expected to receive more opportunities based on the Rams' game plan.

"I just tried to do my job as always," Conner said. "That's my main focus when I take the field, just one play at a time.

"Me and Kyler actually talked about knowing there would be room for me to get the ball quick, with the rush they were bringing. But it was just about being in my right spots, so I can give him an easy throw."

Conner hauled in a highlight-worthy one-handed catch to put the Cardinals in scoring position early in the game. The reception was beautiful, but nothing Conner meant to do on purpose.

"I think he (the defender) had my arm, so all I had was one hand," Conner said. "You got no style points, but I was trying to make a play. The pass came up on me quick, so it just happened to be one-handed."

Conner appeared to have suffered an injury as the Cardinals tried to salvage the game with a touchdown drive. Kliff Kingsbury, however, did not sound concerned about his health following the game. Conner said he was OK.

"I don't think it's too bad," Kingsbury said. "But we'll have to check on that."