Cardinals Sign Former Packers Hero to Practice Squad

Getty Images Richard Rodgers catches the game-winning touchdown as time expired to defeat the Detroit Lions 27-23 at Ford Field on December 3, 2015.

Due to the injuries at cornerback and tight end, the Arizona Cardinals worked out five players on October 12.

Those five are cornerback Kevin Peterson, tight ends Richard Rodgers, Luke Stocker, David Wells and linebacker Joe Walker according to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson.

Darrell Daniels, Demetrius Harris and Ross Travis are the only three TE’s on the Cardinals roster. The Cardinals will look to add any talent available at the tight end position with the absence of Maxx Williams.

Now, according to Arizona Sports 98.7 Radio Host John Gambadoro, the Cardinals signed Rodgers to the practice squad.

Who exactly is Richard Rodgers?

Rodgers’ Journey

Rodgers was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round in 2014. He spent most of his career with the Packers and his best season came in 2015, when he made 85 receptions for 510 yards and eight touchdowns.

But who can forget what happened on December 3, 2015 in a Week 13 matchup against the Detroit Lions? Down 23-21 with no time remaining in the fourth quarter, Aaron Rodgers heaved a Hail Mary pass in the endzone. The other Rodgers jumped up and made a spectacular grab for a 61 yard touchdown to win it. The Hail Mary was named “The Miracle in Motown” and will never be forgotten by any cheesehead until the end of time. It was also a California connection between the quarterback and tight end.

After the game, Rodgers remembered his father Richard Rodgers, Sr., who was a part of “The Play” at the University of California, Berkeley, in which he handled two of the five laterals to score a kick returning winning touchdown in the final seconds in 1982.

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“It’s a really special moment for him and I was kind of thinking on the play before, when Aaron got the facemask, I was kind of thinking we would do something like that. Obviously, it turned out differently.”

His father is also the current Washington Football Team defensive backs coach. Rodgers signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 and only played one game for the next two seasons due to injury. The Washington Football Team signed and released Rodgers prior to the 2020 season when he re-upped the Eagles again.

This time, he appeared in 14 games and caught 24 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns in 2020. Rodgers was cut and brought back to the practice squad twice to the Eagles in 2021, but has been a free agent for two weeks.

Tight End Position Moving Forward

Tight end Maxx Williams surprised everyone with his pass-catching abilities with 16 catches in four and a half games. His run and pass-blocking were above-average as well. Unfortunately in Week 5, Williams suffered a brutal hit against the 49ers. According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport on October 11, “Williams is feared to have suffered a major, season-ending knee injury.”

That’s forced the Cardinals to look outside the box at players they normally wouldn’t look at. Bringing in Rodgers is an example of that. Rodgers could absolutely move to the active roster, but Daniels, Harris and Travis are ahead of him at the moment.

The Cardinals’ two releases in cornerback Luq Barcoo and receiver Josh Doctson allowed a spot on the practice squad for Arizona to sign Rodgers.

While a couple of weeks could go by without a trade, it’s more likely than not Steve Keim will look at the market. Keim traded for edge rusher Markus Golden last season when there needed to be more pass rush after Chandler Jones was out for the season.

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