The Arizona Cardinals, in a surprising move Monday, released former Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin, the team announced.
Benjamin, who started in place of previously injured running back James Conner, has 299 rushing yards and 184 receiving yards on the season. After a 12-carry, 92-yard performance against the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 20, his role was reduced as Conner worked back to full strength.
Benjamin did not get a carry and had one kickoff return for 10 yards Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. He has rushing touchdowns this season.
‘We talked about James, giving the full share, if you will. He’d been banged up, had the ribs. And it was basically one of those deals where it was time to get him the started running back reps,’ Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
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The Cardinals went with Conner and rookie Keaontay Ingram as his backup Sunday. Ingram had one carry. Another running back, Darrell Williams, is injured, and Arizona has two running backs on the practice squad in Corey Clement and Ty’Son Williams.
Benjamin was a seventh-round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2020. After a strong offseason and training camp, he earned the lead backup running back job behind Conner when the season began.
The Cardinals reportedly got bad news on the injury status of tight end Zach Ertz, who left the game early with a knee injury after a catch. Kingsbury said the team would know more later Monday or Tuesday, but according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Ertz has suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Ertz has 47 catches for 406 yards with four touchdowns. He’s been one of the most prolific tight ends in the NFL this season.
Get in touch with Jose Romero at Jose.Romero@gannett.com. Find him on Twitter at @RomeroJoseM.