Jermaine Gresham is eager to make a contribution for the Arizona Cardinals, but he's not happy about the circumstances that will boost his playing time.
Starting tight end Darren Fells suffered a shoulder injury in last week's 25-13 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers and is expected to miss at least two weeks, putting Gresham in line for an expanded role in Monday night's game versus the Baltimore Ravens.
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"You don't get excited for things like this," said Greshman, a first-round draft pick in 2010 who spent his first five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. "In this game, those are your brothers. You want to see them play. You want to go out there and do things together."
Gresham averaged 56 catches per season and was a two-time Pro Bowl selection with the Bengals, but he has only five receptions with the Cardinals and has been held without a catch in each of the past two games. Because Arizona runs a lot of two-tight sets, Gresham and Troy Niklas will see plenty of snaps.
"I'm just trying to get more confidence from the quarterback, be a bigger part of the offense," Gresham told the team's official website. "I'm just trying to be a guy that's accountable, play my role on offense and help us win games."
Coach Bruce Arians noted that Gresham was playing catch-up after recuperating from offseason back surgery, but said his familiarity with quarterback Carson Palmer from their days in Cincinnati will help. "I've seen good growth as a tight end in our offense," Arians said.