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Training Camp preview: A look at the Arizona Cardinals running backs

12Sports is helping you get ready by taking a closer look at who you will see on the field.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals are gearing up for training camp at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, and 12Sports is helping you get ready by taking a closer look at who you will see on the field.

We’ve already provided a rundown of the receivers and tight ends, so let’s examine the running back position.

James Conner

Conner will be Arizona’s primary running back this year. The two-time Pro Bowler is looking to build on his stellar first season in Arizona, where he finished with a career-high 15 rushing touchdowns. Conner led the Cardinals with 18 total touchdowns, the third most in the league, and finished with more than 1,100 yards from scrimmage last season. In March, the 27-year-old agreed to a three-year contract extension reportedly worth $21 million with $13.5 million fully guaranteed. The veteran running back will be one of the most valuable players on the Cardinals roster heading into the 2022-2023 season.

Darrel Williams

After the departure of Chase Edmonds in free agency, the Cardinals signed former Kansas City Chiefs running back and Super Bowl champion Darrel Williams. Williams played in all 17 games during the 2021-2022 regular season and established career highs in rushing attempts (144), rushing yards (558), rushing TDs (6), receptions (47), receiving yards (452), receiving TDs (20), total scrimmage yards (1,010) and total TDs (8). The five-year veteran is looking to establish himself as part of a running back lethal tandem in Arizona after spending his first four NFL seasons in Kansas City.

Eno Benjamin

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury couldn’t stop complimenting Benjamin during voluntary OTAs. The ASU product is positioning himself for a breakout season after an impressive offseason. Benjamin was inactive for every game of his rookie season, but the former Sun Devil showed flashes in 2021 when presented with the opportunity, even scoring his first NFL touchdown in the Cards' Week 9 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Look for Benjamin to emerge as a contender for the title of RB2.

Jonathan Ward

Ward is going into his third NFL season after signing a one-year exclusive rights free agent tender with Arizona in April. Ward appeared in 13 games during the 2021-2022 regular season, totaling 33 yards on nine carries and adding 34 yards on three receptions out of the backfield. Ward also made one of the craziest catches of the year in Arizona’s win over the Cowboys in Week 17. On special teams, Ward added six tackles (four solo) and recorded one forced fumble. Ward will compete with Williams and Benjamin to solidify his role as backup RB.

Rookies to watch: 

Keaontay Ingram, T.J. Pledger and Ronnie Rivers. Ingram was drafted by the Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of USC.

The Cardinals will open their 2022 Training Camp at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on July 26. There will be 10 practices open to the public. The first of which will be on July 30. Parking and admission are free, but digital tickets will be required.

Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on Twitter: @LWashingtonTV. If you have a sports story idea, e-mail Lina at LWashington@12News.com.


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