Former Ute TJ Pledger Cut From The Cardinals

Aug 24, 2022, 3:40 PM
TJ Pledger - Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats...
Running back TJ Pledger #5 of the Utah Utes navigates through heavy traffic during the fourth quarter of the NCAAF game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. The Utes defeated the Wildcats 38-29. (Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)

PHOENIX- Former Utah running back TJ Pledger was cut from the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday. The undrafted rookie played in two preseason games for the Cardinals before being released, recording eight yards off of four carries.

Pledger’s release was part of the NFL’s second round of cuts in an effort to get their rosters down to the 53-man cut-off by the August 30th deadline. There is a possibility Pledger could find himself back with Arizona or somewhere else as teams look to fill their practice squad space.

At Utah

Pledger only played a single season at Utah after transferring from Oklahoma. He was part of the Utes’ triple-headed monster running back attack in 2021 that also featured Tavion Thomas and Micah Bernard.

Despite splitting reps with two other backs, Pledger finished the year second on the team in carries (104), rushing yards (694), and rushing touchdowns (6). Pledger also had 10 receptions for 107 yards.

Pledger really put himself on the map for Ute fans during the Washington State game on September 25 as the lead back carrying the ball 10 times for 117 yards and his first touchdown as a Ute. The 5’9″ running back also added 107 yards off four carries against Stanford for 26.8 yards per carry in a game that saw all three of Utah’s running backs get over 100 yards rushing. In the process, Pledger set a school record for the longest rush from the line of scrimmage with a 96-yard sprint to pay dirt against the Cardinal.

Pledger’s efforts at Utah got him a late invite to the Senior Bowl where he had just over 24 hours and one practice to prepare for the game that Saturday. The former Ute rose to the challenge, showing well in the Senior Bowl game and being one of the standout players. Unfortunately, it didn’t get him drafted or a free agent contract, but it did get him a mini camp invite with Arizona that he took full advantage of officially being one of six players to sign with the Cardinals afterward.

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