As far as anyone knows, the Cardinals’ locker room at their Dignity Health Training Center in Tempe isn’t haunted.
Clearly, though, there's a ghost that roams through these parts. He’s rarely been seen, he's very seldom ever heard and he’s almost completely invisible on Sundays.
Andy Isabella is looking forward to the day when he isn’t confused with Casper.
It could be coming as soon as Sunday when the Cardinals meet the Falcons at State Farm Stadium.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury has been trying to find more ways to work the team’s second-round draft pick into the game plan and there’s a chance, he said, that the speedy wide receiver could finally see some significant time this week.
It would be a first for Isabella, who through five games has yet to be targeted on a single pass.
He’s carried the ball three times for 16 yards on end-arounds, but that’s been the full extent of his participation on offense. It’s not what anyone expected from the player who essentially was the returning fixture in the Josh Rosen trade with the 62nd overall pick in this year’s draft.
"We're working him in week-by week, trying to get him more involved," Kingsbury said. "He's working really hard at it and it's going to happen."
That's music to quarterback Kyler Murray’s ears.
Isabella, after all, might be even faster than Murray, who is one of the quickest and shiftiest playmakers to come along in a generation. Murray knows how Isabella's speed can take the top off an NFL defense even if the rookie hasn't had the chance to show it in a regular-season game.
Murray's watched it in practice, when the "ghost" has regularly left cornerbacks and safeties in the dust.
"I'm really interested," Murray said. "He's got a lot of juice. He's a great player. He's shown it in college. Once he gets comfortable at this level, the sky’s the limit."
Told of Murray’s comments and that Kingsbury sounds more willing to finally integrate him into the regular rotation at receiver, Isabella just smiled and said, "That’s nice to know that they do believe in me and that they haven't forgotten about me."
For a player who led all FBS Division I wide receivers last season in yards receiving (1,698) and finished second in total receptions (102) at Massachusetts, Isabella is far from a diva.
He's as humble as cherry pie and it’s become his almost-too-innocent identity.
He doesn’t feel comfortable when he even grants an interview, which isn’t often, and you’ll never see him clowning around with the Cardinals' other batch of wideouts, like when veteran Larry Fitzgerald picked up rookie KeeSean Johnson on Wednesday and tried stuffing him into his own locker on his birthday.
"It's a tough situation for him, not getting as many reps," Murray said. "Being cold and then being in there for a couple plays, you don't really get to get in the rhythm of it. I’m not out on him or anything. I don't think anybody else around here is. We have confidence in him and once he continues to get more reps, he'll be fine."
Kingsbury blames himself and has said said multiple times he’s probably stagnated Isabella's development by asking the young wideout to try and learn too many positions.
There wasn't enough room at inside slot behind regulars like Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, so he tried moving him to the outside. But then, Kingsbury wasn't sure where to utilize Isabella at all.
Injuries and ongoing changes to the roster have changed everything.
"But he's got speed, quickness, he's a tough player and he can really take the top off," Kingsbury said. "Anytime he’s on the field in any capacity, the defense has to know where he’s at and that’s a plus for us."
Isabella said he’s trying to remain patient and is simply waiting for his turn.
He knows he must earn extra playing time and for now, he's relishing every opportunity he gets on special teams, where he's performed multiple tasks like returning kicks, where he's racked up 105 yards on five returns.
It’s exactly what he experienced as a freshman at UMass, he said, when because of his smallish, 5-foot-9 stature, he had to prove himself on special teams until he could show his real prowess as a deep-threat wide receiver with lightning 4.3 speed who can gain separation and often toy with those who tried to defend and cover him.
"I've done it before," Isabella said, "so it's nothing new. I've got to earn my spot on the field and that’s what I'm going to continue to do."
Edmonds due, too
Backup running back Chase Edmonds told Isabella his time might be coming soon too.
The Cardinals' second-year pro might also see a much larger role Sunday should David Johnson be slowed or sidelined because of back tightness.
"Oh, man. I was just talking to Andy about it on the field," Edmonds said. "I was like, 'Bro, there's probably legitimately maybe 10 people in the league faster than (you).' Of those 10, how many are on defense? Probably five. Of those five, who's even playing? I was like, 'You're always going to be the fastest player on the field when you get on the field,' so we’ve just got to find ways to get Andy involved.
"He's a rookie and I remember I was walking on eggshells my rookie year. As the season goes on, he'll find ways to progress, he'll get more comfortable, get more relaxed and he'll be able to just go out there and ball. Next thing you know, we'll have a little Isabella running out there and people chasing after him."
It’s a long season, Edmonds said, reminding Isabella that rookies will ultimately find their way. When it happens and they start enjoying some success, "you don't let it get to your head." You keep working hard, keep finding ways to try and get better, and when the bad games come, "you don't let it affect the next one."
Problem is, Isabella is still really waiting for the first one.
Considering how often the Cardinals operate out of 10 personnel packages (one running back and four receivers), you'd think it would have happened by now.
Arizona, after all, has run a staggering 172 plays out of that formation while the rest of the NFL has done it only 164 times, according to Sharp Football Stats.
But Kingsbury and the Cardinals have started to rely a little more on their tight ends with a focus on the running game, and as such, have frequently been using more three-wide receiver sets as opposed to their regular four- and five-wideout bunches.
That could leave Isabella out in the cold again if that trend were to continue. Not that he'll ever publicly complain, of course.
"No, I haven't been frustrated," he said. "I'm just taking it slowly. It's my first year and I'm just learning behind the older guys. We'll see what happens. I'm not the coach. It's not my place to say. I'm not much of a talker anyway. If it happens, I'll be excited, for sure. It's always fun whenever you get a chance to be on the field."
Imagine Isabella's reaction if he were to score his first touchdown Sunday.
If it happens, he says he has no idea whatsoever how he would celebrate it in the end zone.
"I think I’ll just wait for it to come," he said. "But yeah, there's no doubt I've thought about it a lot."
Have an opinion on the Arizona Cardinals? Reach McManaman at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac. Listen to him live on Fox Sports 910-AM every Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 on Calling All Sports with Roc and Manuch and every Wednesday night from 7-9 on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.
News and information you can trust. Start your online subscription.