Is Cardinals’ Conner able to overcome age restrictions for NFL running backs in 2023?

Can Cardinals Conner Defy NFL Running Back Age Constraints In 2023?
Fact Checked by Young Ruth

In today’s NFL, fewer running backs are able to sustain peak performance over multiple years, prompting front office officials to exercise greater caution when investing in free agents.

There are doubts surrounding James Conner’s ability to sustain his performance as he enters his seventh season with the Arizona Cardinals at age 28. These concerns have been magnified by his notable decline in touchdown production, falling from 15 to seven last year.

The Cardinals have a pessimistic view of Arizona sports betting sites because of the myriad of unanswered questions and uncertainties.

Do NFL running backs such as Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, and Tony Pollard deserve better compensation for their performances, considering they have yet to be given long-term contracts? utilized to examine running back stats for yards per game and touchdowns, with a specific focus on identifying the top 25 players aged 28 or older from the 2018 to 2022 seasons.

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Life as an aging NFL running back

YearNumber of 28+ RBs in Top 25 Rushing Yards Per GameNumber of 28+ RBs in Top 25 Rushing TDs Per Game
20181 of 25 (4%)3 of 25 (12%)
20193 of 25 (12%)3 of 25 (12%)
20202 of 25 (8%)3 of 25 (12%)
20211 of 25 (4%)3 of 25 (12%)
20224 of 25 (16%)3 of 25 (12%)
TOTAL11 of 125 (8.8%)15 of 125 (12%)

Among Arizona sports betting apps, Christian McCaffrey has the highest odds among running backs to win the NFL Most Valuable Player award. At 27 years old, McCaffrey is listed at +8000 odds, ranking behind 24 quarterbacks.

Is Conner able to overcome the NFL’s concerns about running back age?

Despite a notable decrease in rushing touchdowns, Conner’s 2022 season was not a total letdown. He managed to improve his total rushing yardage from 752 to 782 and his yards per carry from 3.7 to 4.3.

Despite being the same age or older than 25 NFL running backs last season, only four (16%) finished in the top 25 in rushing yards per game. Even fewer backs aged 28 or older finished in the top 25 in rushing touchdowns per game (three), showing the difficulties of remaining competitive as a running back in the modern NFL past the age of 28.

However, Conner has an opportunity to exceed his average of 767 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns per season in the upcoming fall. With quarterback Kyler Murray returning from an ACL tear, the team’s offense is anticipated to heavily lean on him.

This season, the Cardinals are only offering long odds through Arizona sportsbook promotions.

According to BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona, the Cardinals have the least favorable Super Bowl odds in the NFL at +20000.



Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has been reporting on sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years. He currently serves as the lead writer at, and has previously worked for, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News.

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