Benjamin notched 34 carries for 118 yards and one touchdown, gathered in six of seven targets for 42 yards and returned seven kickoffs for 162 yards in nine appearances during the 2021 campaign. A 2020 seventh-round pick, Benjamin filled in when injuries impacted the Cardinals' skill-position ranks this season. Most of his usage occurred in games in which one of fellow running backs James Conner or Chase Edmonds was sidelined, but Benjamin wasn't very efficient on the ground, averaging 3.5 yards per carry. On a positive note, though, Benjamin ranked first on the team with 23.1 yards per kick return among Cards with at least five opportunities. With both Conner and Edmonds set to be unrestricted free agents in the offseason, Benjamin could have a more prominent role in 2022, depending on the composition of the backfield following free agency and the draft.
Benjamin ran for 31 yards on seven carries and caught four passes for 25 yards on four targets against Seattle on Sunday. Benjamin had to step up more than usual because lead runner James Conner (ribs) had to leave the game in the fourth quarter and Chase Edmonds (ribs) didn't suit up for the contest. Not just that, but running back Jonathan Ward suffered a knee injury. It's not clear what the immediate status of any of the three injured runners might be, but if two or more of them miss any time then Benjamin might need to step up as the primary runner for Arizona in next week's wild-card round.
Benjamin (coach's decision) is listed as inactive Sunday in Detroit. Not only is James Conner able to play through an ankle injury that contained him to one limited session during Week 15 prep, Chase Edmonds is returning to the lineup after sitting out four games due to a high ankle sprain. With the pair able to handle all the snaps from scrimmage and Jonathan Ward set for his customary role on special teams, a roster crunch will leave Benjamin in street clothes for the seventh time this season, marking his first absence since Week 8.
Benjamin didn't earn a touch on three offensive snaps during Monday's 30-23 loss to the Rams. During Chase Edmonds' four-game absence while recovering from a high-ankle sprain, Benjamin has had his snap share dwindle in each ensuing contest, including just seven plays on offense and three touches over the last two games. At the same time, current No. 1 RB James Conner hasn't seen less than 81 percent of those plays in a given contest. Clearly, coach Kliff Kingsbury is going with his most trusted backfield option, and with the Cardinals designating Edmonds for return from IR last Thursday, his return to the active roster may be imminent. As a result, Benjamin may see his way out of the RB rotation entirely as early as this Sunday at Detroit.
Benjamin notched six carries for 15 yards, hauled in his only target for five yards and returned one kickoff for 19 yards during Sunday's 23-13 win in Seattle. In two-plus games subbing in for Chase Edmonds (ankle), Benjamin has hovered between 23 and 28 percent of the offensive plays, while starter James Conner has accounted for a whopping 76-81 percent. The result has been 21 carries for 76 yards, Sunday's five-yard catch and one rushing TD on Benjamin's ledger. With Edmonds sidelined, Conner has turned into a three-down back, and Benjamin has had little more than scraps on a weekly basis. Edmonds will miss the Cardinals' next game Sunday, Dec. 5 at Chicago due to the requirement that he must sit out at least three contests while on injured reserve, so Benjamin does have at least one more chance to be a regular part of the offense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/11||Kansas City Chiefs||10||15.10|
|2||09/18||@Las Vegas Raiders||25||19.67|
|3||09/25||Los Angeles Rams||9||14.95|
|7||10/20||New Orleans Saints||2||13.18|
|10||11/13||@Los Angeles Rams||9||14.95|
|11||11/21||San Francisco 49ers||7||14.60|
|12||11/27||Los Angeles Chargers||28||20.65|
|14||12/12||New England Patriots||20||17.22|
|16||12/25||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||14.00|
|18||01/08||@San Francisco 49ers||7||14.60|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||17||59||0||3||21||0||7|