Connect with us

Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals dealt another huge blow with James Conner out

© Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

After leaving the game yesterday, Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner dealt with a knee injury that could be yet another huge blow to the football team’s roster moving forward.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

As the Cardinals were losing 10-7 to the Cincinnati Bengals in the second quarter, Conner went on a 35-yard run, and broke through two tackles before being taken down at the 15-yard line at 10:26.

At that point, it is not clear if the last run of the game he made was when and where he was injured.

Since that play, Conner went into a sideline tent before eventually heading to the locker room and there hasn’t been an update on his status, at the time of reporting.

When asked about the situation, Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon did not reveal much besides saying that Conner is “feeling okay.”

If the two-time NFL Pro Bowler is out from Week 6 to an extended period of time, how big of an impact will that be on the Cardinals season?

Impact of Injury

With already 16 players questionable, on injured reserve or out, the Cardinals roster has missed some crucial players due to injuries this season.

Out of the players dealing with injuries, quarterback Kyler Murray, safety Budda Baker and now Conner are stars on the list that stand out who aren’t healthy.

Some good news is that Baker should return at some point this month after being put on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

As for the other two, both Murray and Conner’s statuses on when they will play again is unknown.

After a huge injury to two stars already, the impact of Conner being out is yet another worry for how this Cardinals team operates.

Since coming to Arizona in 2021 after leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers, Conner has been one of the main focal points to how the Cardinals’ offense runs.

In 33 games, Conner has had 1898 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns so far as a Cardinal.

Even when he is not rushing with the ball, the two-time NFL Pro Bowler has 91 receptions.

With an average rate of 5.4 rushing yards gained per-attempt, Conner being out for an extensive amount of time should set alarms off.

Moreover, running back Keaontay Ingram was ruled out of yesterday’s game against the Bengals with neck issues, so Arizona have to look elsewhere.

Moving Forward

If Conner and Ingram’s injuries are serious, the Cardinals can look to two running backs that could hopefully fill the void in the short-term.

Yesterday, Emari Demercado scored his first touchdown of his NFL career and ran for 45 yards after replacing Conner in the 34-20 loss to the Bengals.

Before that, he has had just four carries for three yards this season.

But if relying on a third-string, rookie RB isn’t part of the game-plan, the Cardinals announced another decision Oct. 9 that gives them a second option.

As the news on the extent of Conner’s injury hasn’t been announced, Arizona claimed Tony Jones Jr. off waivers from the New Orleans Saints.

This season, Jones Jr. recorded two touchdowns and ran 71 yards in four games.

With running backs Alvin Kamara and Deandre Miller back in the Saints fold after being out to begin the season, Jones Jr. hasn’t had much of a role since.

Gannon will have to figure out if he continues to give the rookie Demercado a chance or instantly implements Jones Jr. in the fold if Conner is out for Week 6 and beyond.

Next game, the Cardinals play the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on Oct. 15.

Cardinals sign Tony Jones Jr. with James Conner a battling knee injury

*Get the BEST Phoenix sports insider information, exclusive content, and access to our seasonal magazines! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our premium content!*

Alec Cipollini is a journalist covering the Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Rising for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his new X account @AlecCipollini

More in Arizona Cardinals