CONNER AS PASS-CATCHER
James Conner has been an excellent addition for the Cardinals, leading the NFL in total touchdown touchdowns and tied first for the most rushing TDs.
But his receiver skillset is what has amazed Kingsbury the most since his offseason arrival.
“Pleased would be an understatement,” Kingsbury said. “When we got him here, I didn’t think he had that type of ability. He can run a route like a receiver, has great hands, and is physical. He’s been far and above what I expected from him in that department.”
Conner was a vital piece in the passing offense last week, piling up 77 yards on five catches in the victory at San Francisco. He also caught a 45-yard screen pass for a touchdown, the longest of his career.
Conner enjoys getting the ball at the goal-line and reaching the end zone for touchdowns, but not as much as making impressive plays from the backfield. Conner will likely get more of those opportunities with running back Chase Edmonds out with an ankle injury.
“I’m going to try and do that a little more often,” Conner said. ” I trust the offensive line; two yards in, I know we good from there. But I want to open up and make some more highlight plays.”
HOPKINS, MOORE QUESTIONABLE FOR SUNDAY; PUGH OUT
The Cardinals have ruled out Edmonds (ankle), guard Justin Pugh (calf), running back Jonathan Ward (concussion), and safety James Wiggins (knee) for Sunday.
Both wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) and offensive lineman Max Garcia (Achilles) are listed as questionable despite not practicing all week. Safety Budda Baker (concussion), wide receiver Rondale Moore (concussion), defensive lineman Jordan Phillips (groin) are also questionable.
For the Panthers, cornerbacks Stanley Thomas-Oliver (toe) and Rashaan Melvin (hand) are out. Linebacker Frankie Luvu (knee) and defensive end Brian Burns (foot) are questionable.