The Arizona Cardinals emerged from the 2011 NFL draft with three starting-caliber halfbacks.
Beanie Wells is the healthiest of the three, and he's got a knee injury that could sideline him indefinitely. Tim Hightower, traded to Washington as training camps were beginning, will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL. Ryan Williams, drafted to replace Hightower and push Wells for the starting job in Arizona, suffered a torn patella during preseason and will not return until next season.
The Cardinals thought Wells might be headed for injured reserve Sunday, coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters Monday. But tests showed Wells suffered no structural damage to the knee. Swelling is a problem for now. It's unclear when Wells might return, but he'll be back this season.
Durability has been a concern for Wells, but the truth is, running backs get hurt.
Seattle lost Marshawn Lynch to back trouble during warmups Sunday. Tampa Bay was down to its third-string back Sunday. Denver's Willis McGahee suffered a broken hand. Oakland's Darren McFadden suffered a foot injury and did not return to the game.
In that context, the Cardinals can be grateful. They're playing a rugged Baltimore defense on the road in Week 8 before returning home to face the St. Louis Rams' last-ranked run defense, followed by a game against Philadelphia, another team with issues stopping the run.