Andre Ellington Could Miss Several Weeks With Foot Injury
When it was initially reported that Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington was dealing with a foot issue, no one thought it to be too serious. They thought wrong.
Per multiple reports, Arizona’s star second-year rusher could be out “4-6 weeks or longer”, while his exact return may depend solely on “how quickly he heals”.
Ellington was reportedly hurt in practice this week, but the injury is not believed to be a break or a tear of any kind. Instead, Jay Glazer has reported it to be a “muscle issue” that could heal in less time than currently expected.
With Arizona’s first game on Monday Night Football this week, Ellington still has roughly four full days to stay off of his foot and see where he is on Monday afternoon. Should Ellington not be able to go against the San Diego Chargers on MNF, the Cards would then be forced to turn to backup running back Jonathan Dwyer.
While Ellington is an explosive speed back, Dwyer is the exact opposite. Due to Dwyer’s inability to break long runs and a lack of versatility, Ellington sitting out could have Arizona opening up their offense and getting a little more creative. That could include using slot receiver John Brown on screens or even in the backfield. It could also include the use of third string rusher Stepfan Taylor.
More than likely, if Ellington is out, Arizona will just take to the air more. This was already a pass-heavy group in a pass-oriented scheme, so the loss of Ellington almost certainly makes it even more that way now. Dwyer isn’t an effective receiving back or an overly productive rusher, so a solid Chargers run defense could easily stuff him and force the Cardinals to the air. Instead of letting their injury limit them, the Cardinals could enter Monday night with the choice to push San Diego to their limits via the air first.
If that works, the Cardinals could then use their passing game to set up the run.
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