The starter had been playing through a turf toe injury and he could’ve continued to fight off the pain, but leading up to the Atlanta game, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians felt it was time to shut Mendenhall down for a couple weeks and let him recover.
“I feel great right now,” Mendenhall said.
Turf toe is a general term used for sprained or torn ligaments in a toe, but it’s painful, the running back said.
“It’s a matter of kind of what you can take, and whether you’re going forwards or backwards,” Mendenhall said.
The injury limited how much Mendenhall could run, how well he was able to cut, and it impacted how he could stop. It basically made everything tougher, he added.
It also hurt his numbers.
Mendenhall was Arizona’s second-leading rusher with 281 yards through the first eight games, but had 49 more carries than the next best running back. After reviewing his first half, Mendenhall was pleased with how he executed the plays and hit his holes, but he was frustrated with not getting as many yards as he’d like.
Mendenhall’s bye week wasn’t any different than the rest of the season. While some teammates and coaches broke down tape of the first eight games last weekend, Mendenhall was focused on his last outing. Since he was in high school, Mendenhall has made it a habit of reviewing tape and breaking down his performances.
He finds his flaws, but also finds his strong points.
“I started with my high school coach, and just always kinda looking back, seeing what I did, why I made that decision, what I can do better,” Mendenhall said. “So, that’s something I’ve always done.
“I do (it) week in and week out. All the time. Just an every-day thing.”