Get to Know Cardinals Running Back Jonathan Ward

Matthew JohnsonJanuary 17, 2022
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Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan  Ward hauls in a catch on a fake punt play vs. Dallas on January 2, 2022.
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward hauls in a catch on a fake punt play vs. Dallas on January 2, 2022.

It’s gameday for the Arizona Cardinals!

For the first time in six years, the Cardinals are in the NFL Playoffs and are preparing to take on the Los Angeles Rams Monday night in the Wild Card round.

Coming off a lackluster Week 18 loss to Seattle to finish the regular season, the Cardinals need the kind of spark running back Jonathan Ward provided when he hauled in that fake punt pass against Dallas in Week 17. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury called it the greatest catch he’s ever seen.

While no one will match that kind of catch, we recently caught up with the Cards second year player for a ‘get to know ya’ Q&A session to learn what he loves about the Valley and what he brings with him to the stadium on gameday.

What did it mean to you to hear your head coach say your fake punt catch vs. Dallas was one of the greatest catches he’s ever seen?

It was one of the greatest compliments I’ve received throughout my career. I’ve been around some great football players and have witnessed some impressive plays so that was definitely an honor.


What part of the Valley do you spend your free time?

I tend to spend a lot of time near home when I’m not training, traveling for games or looking to explore the city, so I’m usually in the Tempe or Chandler area.

Where are some of your favorite spots for dining and do you have a favorite dish?

I love to try new restaurants when I can but I also like consistency and food that reminds me of home.  I love the soul food at Detroit Soul Sistas and Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles and I’m also a fan of the tacos at The Mission Kierland in Paradise Valley.


Favorite spot for outdoor recreation or hiking?

I haven’t had a chance to get out and do any hiking yet but I look forward to going to Sedona after the season for some hiking and bringing along my Rottweiler puppy Blaze.

Do you have a favorite downtown area?

I love the downtown Phoenix area for the restaurants and Scottsdale for all the shopping options.


What are some of your favorite things to do around the Valley?

I enjoy classic cars so I’ll check out classic car shows when I can, Sneaker Con for exclusive releases, Suns games and the Arizona State Fair.

What do you love most about the Phoenix area and could you see yourself as a full time Arizonan for the rest of your career?

I love the scenery in Phoenix, it’s so different from my home town (Kankakee) in Illinois. To relax, I’ll drive down the 101 to see the views of mountains during sunset.

Why is it important to connect to the local community and what sort of things do you do to give back?

I want to connect to the local community so they can have a chance to get to know me outside of just being an athlete.  It’s important to me to give back to the community and support youth and families in need.  I like to do random acts of kindness without it being something that the media is covering like giving to the homeless and providing clothes, shoes and toiletries to shelters.


If you didn’t play football, what would you want to do for a living?

I would open my own training facility for speed and agility, own a sneaker store and continue to be a mentor to youth from underserved communities.

What’s in your gameday bag? 

My football playbook, my favorite snacks, RX Water, Game Face Wipes and my headphones.



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