TEMPE, Ariz. -- Stephone Anthony never had a chance.
When the New Orleans Saints inside linebacker charged the line of scrimmage to defend the goal line on a first-and-goal run by Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington, he never got close to preventing a touchdown. Anthony was knocked into his own end zone on a crushing blow by Cardinals center-turned-fullback A.Q. Shipley that allowed Ellington to put Arizona ahead 14-3 with 11:10 left in the second quarter in Arizona's win Sunday.
Shipley sprinted off the field, giving a celebratory fist pump.
“I knew I had got some good contact on that middle backer,” Shipley said. “Any time you can do that it kind of gets the juices flowing a little bit.”
Going from blocking in the trenches to blocking with a full head of steam is a new sensation for Shipley, but one he can quickly get used to.
“It’s great,” he said. “It’s kind of like a guard pulling but you don’t really have to worry about going laterally. It’s just going downhill, and that makes it easy, especially with the defense that they ran. It was a perfect look for us to go downhill on the middle linebacker.”
Lining up at full back might be rare for Shipley, but it’s not new. In 2012, when Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was Indianapolis’ offensive coordinator, he would use Shipley, then a Colts’ offensive lineman, on goal-line plays as a fullback or tight end in games Shipley didn’t start.
Shipley took that experience into practice last week, when he worked on his cameo as a fullback "a little bit."
“He has the ability and did a hell of a job on that goal-line play, knocked the middle linebacker backwards,” Arians said. “He is a good football player. We can use him all the time.”