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Top Five Running Backs in Cardinals History

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) Ottis Anderson
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The Arizona Cardinals are not known for having the best running backs, but there were some excellent backs to play for the Cardinals. The Cardinals did not have Hall of Fame type running back, but some of their backs flashed in their short careers. I picked running back from the Super Bowl era.

5. Larry Centers 1990-1998

Larry Centers redefined the fullback position in his time with Arizona. He made the All-Pro team in 1996 and Pro Bowls in 1996 and 1996. In 1995, Centers became the first running back to catch 100 passes with 101 receptions. Starting in 1994, the fullback had three straight seasons with over 980 yards from scrimmage. In his career with the Cardinals, Centers rushed for 1.736 yards and caught 535 passes for 4,539 yards and 19 touchdowns.

4. David Johnson 2015-2019

While David Johnson’s time with Arizona was short, he put up some good numbers. As a rookie, Johnson had 1,038 yards from scrimmage. However, it was not until 2016 when Johnson came into his own, compiling 2,118 yards from scrimmage, rushing for 1,239, and having 879 receiving yards. Johnson made one Pro Bowl and one All-Pro team; he ran 3,128 yards and 15 touchdowns. Johnson also caught 208 passes for 2,219 yards and 15 touchdowns.

3. Stump Mitchell 1981-89

Known as a returner, Stump Mitchell turned into a solid running back in his time with the Cardinals. He had one 1,000-yard season but rushed for 4,649 yards and 32 touchdowns in his time at running back. Mitchell also caught 209 passes for 1,955 and nine touchdowns. As a rookie, Mitchell led the NFL with 1,292 kick return yards.

2. Terry Metcalf 1973-77

Terry Metcalf spent five years with the Cardinals and the Pro Bowl three times and was an All-Pro once. In 1975 Metcalf set the NFL record for All-Purpose yards with 2,462, 960 on kick-offs, 816 rushing, and 378 receiving yards. Metcalf gained more than 2,000 All-Purpurpose yards twice in his career. In his Cardinals career, Metcalf gained 3,438 yards and 24 touchdowns on 748 attempts while catching 197 passes for 1,862 yards and nine touchdowns. In the return game, he added another 3,725 yards and three touchdowns.

1. Ottis Anderson 1979-1986

Now for the No.1 running back in Cardinals history, Ottis Anderson. In 1979 Anderson was the Offensive Rookie of the Year, rushing for 1,605 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 41 passes for 308 yards. Anderson gained more than 1,600 yards from scrimmage in his first six seasons. In 1979, Anderson made the Pro-Bowl and was an All-Pro rookie. In eight years with the Cardinals, Anderson rushed for 1,000 yards five times and gained 7,999 yards on the ground with 46 touchdowns. He also added 299 receptions for 2,495 yards and five touchdowns. Anderson is the Cardinals’ all-time leading rusher.


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LaMarr Fields is a WNBA Insider, Sports Insider, and breaking news 

reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on Twitter via @lburncitysports


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