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Arizona Cardinals training camp: 'The light came on' for TE Darren Fells

The former basketball player is showing up.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals released their initial depth chart with little surprises and tight end Darren Fells was expectedly below the top four guys -- John Carlson, Jake Ballard, Rob Housler and Troy Niklas.

However, he is making an impression on head coach Bruce Arians now that the pads have gone on, as he told the media the other day.

His size and athleticism has never been in question, as he is a former basketball player. Despite a year on the practice squad and all offseason, he was making a lot of mistakes. But in training camp -- particularly in the goal-line scrimmage at Fan Fest on Saturday -- he is standing out.

The key for him is blocking. And it was sudden.

"It's been a couple years now," Arians said. "It was almost like, ‘I don't think the light is going to come on.' And all of a sudden, the light came on."

He is hitting people and "knocking some people back."

If he continues to shine, it will make for a difficult cut.

Housler, despite the frustrations of the fans, is having a great camp according to Arians, and he offers a skill set that the rest of the group does not have. Niklas was a second-round pick this past May, so you really would not think there is any way he would get cut unless he were absolutely terrible, and, even then, he was not considered polished coming out of Notre Dame.

Will Fells show enough promise to overtake Housler? He is a lot cheaper, costing about $1 million less. But with a No. 1 guy in Carlson, who has a history of injuries, would he be the better option than Housler?

There are still four preseason games for him to prove himself, but even with his recent "light going on," he still looks like a longshot, albeit a very intriguing one, for the roster.