Oct 27, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) tires to break a tackle from Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Paul Worrilow (55) during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The Rashard Mendenhall-Andre Ellington Split
It looked like Andre Ellington was finally taking over the featured back role with the Arizona Cardinals just two weeks ago, but Rashard Mendenhall has once again thrown a wrench into that. Mendenhall missed the Week 8 win against the Falcons with a toe injury and Ellington had a career night, finishing with 15 carries for 154 yards and an 80-yard touchdown.
Mendenhall was healthy enough to play Sunday against the Houston Texans and returned to the starting lineup, finishing with 13 carries for 42 yards and one reception for nine yards. Ellington had one fewer touch with 11 rushes for 55 yards and catching two passes for 18 yards. Mendenhall had a late fumble which gave the Texans life and put the outcome in doubt, but Cards Head Coach Bruce Arians stood by the veteran after the game:
"“Rashard, I thought, played extremely well today until the fumble at the end of the game, which I still thought he was down by the forward progress rule,” Arians said."
Ellington should be the starter going forward, but with the Cardinals’ insistence on not giving him anything better than a 50/50 split with Mendenhall, you can’t treat him as anything more than a flex play.