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Robert Hughes Vying for Arizona Cardinals Roster Spot

June 18th, 2014 at 4:56 AM
By Steve Smith

Now is his time to shine.

'' photo (c) 2008, Seth Page - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
University of Notre Dame product Robert Hughes is competing to become the fourth running back on the Arizona Cardinals' depth chart behind Andre Ellington, Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer. He's been impressive in OTA's and minicamps so far but he is still a long way away from making the regular season opening game roster.

For now.

The 5-foot-11, 235-pound Hughes looks like your prototypical fullback but he can do much more than that. Hughes can catch the ball well out of the backfield and play special teams. Arizona head coach Bruce Arians stated that Hughes could even play small tight end.

"That (flexibility) is what Robert brings," Arians said via azcardinals.com. "Robert Hughes is an outstanding football player."

The Red Birds are Hughes' fifth NFL team. He initially signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears in 2011 and he's bounced around since then, mostly on practice squads.

Arians and Hughes know each other well. Hughes played on the 2012 Indianapolis Colts when Arians was coaching there – he played in five contests, mostly on special teams. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Titans on Dec. 9.

Hughes then played just one game last season with the Colts and was released on Dec. 17. The Cardinals signed him to their practice squad less than a week later and then inked him to a futures contract once the 2013 season concluded.

Once training camp begins next month, Hughes will be competing with Zach Bauman, Jalen Parmele and Damien Thigpen for a coveted roster spot with the Red Birds. He can't worry about the depth chart right now.

“I have fun when I’m out there on the field, and that’s just the main thing I focus on,” Hughes said. “You can’t worry about the politics behind any of the stuff – making the team, not making the team. You have to go out there and have fun, because when you have fun that’s when you play the best.”

No doubt.

 

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