With Floyd down, Roberts steps up

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Andre Roberts knew this season would be different.

He realized new head coach Bruce Arians ran a two-tight-end set, which meant one receiver would be left out. He knew that would be him.

As the season -- which began with Roberts getting 97 receiving yards against the St. Louis Rams -- unfolded, Roberts’ impact became smaller by the week. He had four straight games with six or fewer receiving yards, including none against Carolina.

But Roberts continued to prepare every week as if he was going to start. It paid off Sunday, in the Cardinals' 27-24 win against the Houston Texans.

“I’m human. Of course, it’s frustrating,” Roberts said. “Coming off last year, playing a lot and not playing a lot this year, or getting as many touches this year, I should say -- of course it’s frustrating.

“I know my role and I have to play my role, and in games like this I have to step up when Mike's out and produce.”

Receiver Michael Floyd went down midway through the first half with an A/C joint sprain in his right shoulder, Arians said. He expects Floyd back next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Roberts picked up any slack left by Floyd’s absence.

He finished with 72 yards and a touchdown on five catches.

It was Robert’s first touchdown, a 19-yard double move that found him about four yards behind Houston linebacker Joe Mays, since Week 7 of last season.

“Finally, for me,” Roberts said. “It felt like forever. I got it done.”

Had it not been for Floyd’s injury, Roberts would’ve likely had another pedestrian game. He had a 19-yard catch to start the Cardinals’ second drive, but that most likely would’ve been the chunk of his yards.

Instead Roberts showed regardless of how small of a role he has, when his number gets called, he can step up.

“That is what you do when your opportunity arises,” Arians said. “You make the best of it.”

Roberts’ touchdown catch gave the Cardinals a 27-17 lead with 6:47 left, and it renewed the Cardinals confidence in him as another option.

“When you lose a guy like Mike, who is such an integral part of our offense, Andre comes in and knows his job,” quarterback Carson Palmer said, “blocks his guys in the running game in our four-minute offense and made some really nice plays to get the ball in his hands, too.”