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Monday, June 9, 2014

Cardinals Injury Update: Jake Ballard looking to play well in Arizona

By on 6/09/2014 07:21:00 PM

Tight end Jake Ballard had a primary role for the New York Giants in 2011, with 38 receptions for 604 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season, but he suffered a major knee injury in the Super Bowl in February of 2012 and was put on waivers that summer. The New England Patriots surprisingly claimed Ballard knowing he wouldn't play in 2012, and he never played a meaningful down for them before being cut at the end of the 2013 preseason. Ballard got another chance with the Arizona Cardinals late last season, and he had seven receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns in eight games (three starts) while serving primarily as a blocker.

The Cardinals brought Ballard back on a one-year deal this offseason, and he's happy for the chance to have an NFL home after what he's gone through in his career.

Ballard is not guaranteed a roster spot at this point, even though his blocking ability is a good fit for Bruce Arians' offense, with Rob Housler, John Carlson and rookie Troy Niklas also in the mix at tight end for Arizona. But Housler's status as the starter is tenuous at best, and if the depth chart is reshuffled between now and the end of the preseason Ballard would have a better chance to stick.

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