The Arizona Cardinals were always going to make a roster move today. Linebacker Matt Shaughnessy was activated from injured reserve, as has always been the plan. He will slide back into the starting lineup.
Arizona had to make room for him. The guy they cut was a surprise. The team announced running back Michael Bush was released, just a week after he was signed to help the running game.
The team also made another pair of moves. Since Bush was cut, running back Kerwynn Williams was promoted for the second time this season to the 53-man roster. Tight end Matthew Mulligan was released to make room for him.
The move to cut Bush can be seen a couple of ways.
One is a more optimistic view. That line of thinking says he is just gone for now, having only had two weeks in the offense. Williams is a better option on special teams so Bush could easily be back in a week or two.
On the more negative side of things, Bush is a bust. He didn't pick up the offense or looked bad in practice, much like what happened with linebacker Ernie Sims in the offseason. He only averaged 3.1 yards per carry last season and no one picked him up in the first 12 weeks of the season. He is done.
Either case will be a disappointment to many fans, who hoped Bush would be the hammer in the running game the Cardinals have lacked to soften up defenses for the big plays of Andre Ellington, who will miss the game this Sunday.
Shaughnessy (6-5, 285) was placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list on October 7 after starting the first four games of the season and collecting 13 tackles. This is his second season with the Cardinals after playing in all 16 games (12 starts) last year where he set career highs with 62 tackles and a team leading three fumble recoveries in addition to three sacks, nine tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
Williams (5-8, 198) has been on the Cardinals active roster for four games this season and appeared in one contest. He was originally signed by the Cardinals to the practice squad on September 18 and was elevated to the active roster on November 1 until he was released on November 25.
Williams was a seventh round selection (230th overall) by the Colts in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Utah State. He played in one game with Indianapolis before spending the rest of last season on the Colts and Chargers practice squads.