When it comes to the 2014 season for the Arizona Cardinals, you can look at injuries as the reason why things fell apart at the end. Obviously, the key injury was the loss of starting quarterback Carson Palmer, who only played in six games.
But after that, what Bruce Arians said in his last local radio interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM after the season ended, the injury that really hurt the offense was the foot injury to running back ANndre Ellington -- the injury that didn't end up taking any playing time away.
"I think Andre Ellington's injury early in the season set us way back offensively because we had put so much time and effort into his attack," Arians explained to Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta. "And when he wasn't able to practice, we lost all the passing we had worked on. I learned a valuable lesson about putting too many eggs in one basket."
Arians had made a complete about face with Ellington from one season to the next. During his rookie season, Arians was adamant about only using Ellington 30-35 snaps a game. Then, after the offseason, Ellington was going to be the focal point of the offense and get 25-30 touches per game.
Early on, the team tried to get him the ball, but he just wasn't the same player and, later in the season, he also suffered other injuries -- a hip injury that ended up being a hernia, which ended his season.
Ellington still managed to lead the team in yards from scrimmage with more than 1000 in just 12 games, but he was not the dynamic player he was in 2013.
The loss of running back Jonathan Dwyer, who was moved to the Non-Football Injury list after charges of domestic violence and concern for his mental health arose.
"We missed Jonathan a lot because he was gong to have a big year," Arians said.
The question is how the Cardinals address the position in 2015. Will Ellington be used as the number one option in the offense, or will his injuries change things?