Chase Edmonds: 'Now or Never' to Win Cardinals' RB1 Job Despite James Conner Signing

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 23, 2021

Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds (29) runs the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Chase Edmonds has been waiting for this moment.

The path for him to take over as the starting running back for the Arizona Cardinals is cleared, with the final roadblock in Kenyan Drake cleared after Drake moved on to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.

That move came a year after former starter David Johnson was dealt to the Houston Texans. 

"It's now or never," Edmonds told Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official website. "I've finally got my opportunity really and truly in front of me to have a pretty big role in this offense. It's something I've been dying for, praying for, since my first three years in the NFL. It seemed like it would never happen, but I've finally got this opportunity, and I've got to make the most of it."

Edmonds, a fourth-round pick by the team out of Fordham in 2018, has started four games in his first three years in the league but appeared in all 16 outings twice. The 25-year-old had 448 rushing yards to go with 402 receiving yards and four touchdown catches in 2020, all career highs. He also had a rushing score. 

The Cardinals appear ready to let him step into the role, despite signing former Pittsburgh Steeler James Conner in free agency. They did not select a running back in the 2021 draft, even with Alabama star Najee Harris still available when they chose at No. 16 overall.

"I'm ready to run through a damn wall," Edmonds said. "I'm really ready to prove myself right. People don't understand how bad. I get what people are saying. I get the arguments and (expletive), but I really couldn't care less. I'm going to go out there and I'm going to ball out this year."