Defensive lineman David Carter has quietly been one of the most important players for the Arizona Cardinals. He's not a starter when the defensive line is healthy, but that's exactly it -- the line hasn't been this season.
Carter has been playing quite a bit at three positions on the line. He's replaced injured defensive end Calais Campbell against the Atlanta Falcons and the St. Louis Rams. Against the Seattle Seahawks, he filled in at tackle for Darnell Dockett. Most recently, he took over at nose tackle for Dan Williams against the Detroit Lions.
The second-year player out of UCLA has quickly established himself as a go-to player when head coach Ken Whisenhunt needs a body on the defensive line. Said Carter to the Cardinals' website:
"At first, I was like, ‘Man, it's so different playing end from nose.' And now it's all the same. Same mindset of get off the ball, hand speed. It's easy from there."
He's quickly learned to accept his versatility, which has been the reason his value has increased following the coaches realization that his speed was a unique asset for a 6'5, 300-pound player.
Carter has 13 tackles on the season, and eight of those came when he was starting.