Canadian OL Carter O’Donnell to make first NFL start for Arizona Cardinals

Photo courtesy: Caitlyn Epes/Arizona Cardinals

Canadian offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell is slated to make his first career NFL start for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

The 24-year-old made his first career appearance in last week’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, seeing 17 snaps at left guard following an injury to starter Will Hernandez. Despite being listed as questionable on Friday with his own ankle injury, O’Donnell is expected to assume Hernandez’s position full-time when Arizona hosts the Atlanta Falcons.

The six-foot-five, 313-pound blocker is in his fourth NFL season after an outstanding collegiate career at the University of Alberta, earning first-team All-Canadian honours in 2019. He received an invitation to the prestigious East-West Shrine Game that offseason and impressed professional scouts, putting him on the NFL radar.

O’Donnell originally signed with the Indianapolis Colts after going unselected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent his first two seasons with the team on the practice roster but missed all of last year due to a Lisfranc injury he suffered in training camp, which he called “heartbreaking.”

The native of Red Deer, Alta. initially made the Colts’ 53-man roster in 2023 but was waived the day after final cuts to make room for new additions. He was claimed by the Cardinals, who were third in the waiver wire order, and was held in reserve as a game-day inactive for the first eight games of the season.

O’Donnell was a third-round pick of the Montreal Alouettes in the 2020 CFL Draft, falling as a result of the significant interest from the NFL. His CFL rights were traded to the Edmonton Elks in 2022 as part of the deal that sent the first overall pick in that year’s draft to Montreal.

The Cardinals (1-8) will kick off against the Falcons (4-5) at 4:05 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 12.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.