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Kliff Kingsbury confident Chase Edmonds can be Arizona’s lead running back

Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine the way J.J. Watt was recruited to the Arizona Cardinals and how GM Steve Keim used the fact Watt had never been recruited before to his advantage.

Kenyan Drake is set to become a free agent later this month after playing the 2020 season under the transition tag. He accounted for 1,092 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns, but there’s a possibility the running back won’t return for 2021.

If that’s how things shake out, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he’s confident in Chase Edmonds’ ability to take over as a full-time starter.

“As far as Chase goes, you’ve seen when he’s had his opportunity, he’s played at a starting running back level,” Kingsbury said during his Thursday press conference. “We all understand that he’s unfortunately been nicked up a couple times, which we want to keep him on the field. But we have all the confidence in the world in Chase and him being able to be the bell cow if that’s how this plays out.”

Edmonds had his most productive season since the Cardinals selected him in the fourth round of the 2018 draft last year. He accounted for 850 yards from scrimmage — 448 rushing, 402 receiving — and scored five total touchdowns. He played all 16 games for Arizona, starting two of them.

Edmonds is headed into the final year of his rookie contract, so getting a chance to be in the spotlight could be beneficial for him 12 months from now.