The Cardinals haven’t made much of an effort to disguise their plans to use cornerback Patrick Peterson on offense this season, utilizing him as both a passer and receiver in portions of practice open to the media.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that Peterson continues to see regular reps on offense and that the package of plays involving him has grown to about 15 at this point in camp. Coach Bruce Arians said that wasn’t his plan coming into the season, but seeing Peterson in action has made him want to see more.
“I had hopes that he could be something special, in a package a week, but after you see the athlete he is, it’s like the guy could be one of the top five receivers in the league,” Arians said. “So, you say, ‘Hmmm, that’s a lot of weapons sitting over here next to me.'”
Peterson says that he knew Arians had plans for him on offense, where he’s played sparingly in his first two years, but that he didn’t think the coach “would take it this far.” There are some limits, however. Peterson said that there are no plans for him to run the Wildcat, something he’s done in the past, as he’s only been lining up at receiver thus far.
There’s an obvious risk to extending Peterson’s playing time, especially in a role where he’s likely to take hits, and the Cardinals will have to manage those risks against the potential rewards that come from putting the ball in the hands of such a dynamic player more often. That’s easier said than done, but it appears the Cardinals are willing to put in the work to make it happen.