The injuries in the Cardinals backfield are adding up. Arizona added depth to the running back position on Monday, acquiring Kenyan Drake from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The trade further clouds the injury status of current Cardinals RBs David Johnson and Chase Edmonds. Johnson missed Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints with an ankle injury and isn’t expected to play in Arizona’s next game on Thursday night against the undefeated San Francisco 49ers.
Meanwhile, Chase Edmonds is also in danger of missing Thursday night’s game with a hamstring injury suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Saints as the frustrations continue to pile up for head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
“We don’t have a back that’s been with us (for more than a week),” Kingsbury told azcardinals.com.
The trade for Drake will add some much-needed depth to the Cardinals backfield which currently has Zach Zenner, and Alfred Morris as the only healthy options. Third-string running back D.J. Foster is also nursing an injured hamstring. Foster and Morris were both inactive not on Sunday against the Saints.
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Edmonds Goes Down
The hamstring injury occurred in the third quarter of Sunday’s 31-9 loss to the Saints while Edmonds was blocking on a pass play. Since Arizona has a short week, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said there’s “definitely concern” that Edmonds will not be able to suit up on Thursday night.
“Hopeful for Thursday,” Edmonds said after the game. “Obviously going to get back in the treatment room and try to get right. We got a quick week. Do the best that I can to get out there.”
Edmonds has been a fantasy darling of late and rushed for 126 yards with three touchdowns in last Sunday’s 27-21 win over the New York Giants. The second-year back out of Fordham did not find similar success on Sunday against the Saints’ stout rush defense, compiling just eight yards on seven carries.
Cardinals Depth Tested
If Johnson, Edmonds, and Foster are both inactive on Thursday night and Drake is not yet up to speed on the playbook, Arizona could go with newly acquired Alfred Morris as the lead back against the 49ers.
Morris was signed last week when Johnson’s status became in doubt. Edmonds is confident the Cardinals can still run the ball effectively despite the injuries in the backfield.
“Alfred had, what, a 1,600-yard season and two 1,200-yard seasons?” Edmonds told azcardinals.com. “Zach’s a great player, smart, intelligent. We’ll be fine.”
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith