Kliff Kingsbury: We feel like Chase Edmonds is a starting running back

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Chase Edmonds has started only two career games, both last season. He won’t start this season unless Kenyan Drake is injured.

Yet, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t think of Edmonds as a backup.

“We all feel like he’s a starting running back in this league, and he does, too,” Kingsbury said, via Kyle Odegard of the team website.

The Cardinals traded for Drake last season, but Kingsbury shared Wednesday that the team might not have made the call to the Dolphins had Edmonds remained healthy. Edmonds had 26 carries for 126 yards and three touchdowns against the Giants in Week Seven but injured his hamstring the next week.

“We felt that confident in what Chase brings,” Kingsbury said. “When he had his opportunities, he shined, and he continues to shine. He can catch it, run it, block, play special teams, and he’s really bright football-wise. He’s everything you want.”

In the final eight games, Edmonds received only 15 snaps on offense and two carries.

“He’s competitive, so I know he wasn’t happy about it,” Kingsbury said.

David Johnson now is in Houston, though, leaving Edmonds as the clear No. 2 option behind Drake. Kingsbury expects to use both backs.

“I know when my number is called, I’ll be ready,” Edmonds said. “I’ll be ready to have whatever role they want me to have on this offense. It’s a team game. Kliff, he’s a mastermind. He’s a wizard. He will be able to figure it out.”