Friday, November 29, 2013
Ellington a game-day decision vs. Eagles
By Josh Weinfuss
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Cardinals rookie running back Andre Ellington will be a game-time decision Sunday in Philadelphia, Arizona coach Bruce Arians said.
Ellington did not practice Friday, a day after "tweaking" his left knee late in Thursday's practice. He was listed as questionable on the injury report.
"Nothing serious about it," Arians said. "I want to be very careful with him."
Ellington said the knee is sore but he feels he'll be able to play.
"I'm hoping," he said. "I'll see how it goes. We have two days before the game. That's a lot of rest, two days. We'll continue to rehab and get to Sunday and kinda get out there and run around."
The former Clemson star is averaging 40.1 yards per game and has two touchdowns. He's emerged as a fast complement to starter Rashard Mendenhall, with breakaway speed he put on display during an 80-yard touchdown run against the Falcons. His elusiveness has helped him average six yards a carry, which leads the NFL among players with at least 70 carries.
Arians also uses Ellington as a receiver and the rookie is averaging 22.5 yards per game and about 8.8 yards per reception.
Without Ellington, the Cardinals' running will become a one-man band. Mendenhall will be given the large majority of the carries, with rookie Stepfan Taylor and potentially Alfonso Smith used to spell him on occasion. But Ellington has provided a change-of-pace rushing attack that has made it tough for defenses to combat this season. Until last week, Mendenhall was used primarily as the between-the-tackles carrier while Ellington was quick enough to bounce outside.
Then, against the Colts, Mendenhall broke free for Ellington-esque runs, giving the Cardinals hope that his speed is back full-time. That performance alone could be enough to quell Arians concerns for not having a one-two punch.
But if Ellington can't go, the Cardinals will have to make changes to their offense.
"The only thing is there's part of the offense that no one else can do [for] five or six plays," Arians said. "That, you just take out.