One of the biggest storylines coming out of the Arizona Cardinals’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys last Monday night was the fact that they had a tough time moving the ball on offense. Dallas has an average defense comparatively, so for the Cardinals to struggle as much as they did came as a bit of surprise to many. Carson Palmer was repeatedly sacked, Chris Johnson was continuously shut down at the line of scrimmage and the wide receivers were unable to get separation.
But one bright spot was the play of Andre Ellington. Rushing 5 times for 22 yards and catching the ball an additional 5 times for 59 yards, Ellington looked completely re-energized.
After a couple of years of riding the injury roller coaster, Ellington has a real chance to get back in the good graces of the coaching staff. David Johnson is expected to be out until somewhere around Christmas and the team has been expected to employ a running back by committee approach.
But after watching Monday night’s game, Chris Johnson gave us a peek into why he was cut heading into the regular season. He simply looked slow, unable to make cuts to turn up the field or get around the edge on stretch runs. Kerwynn Williams, meanwhile, took only one snap after his lackluster performance against the Colts the Sunday prior.
So once again, the door has been swung wide open for Ellington. For a guy that many thought would be on the bubble and might not make the team coming out of training camp, Ellington showed a strong burst in his limited rushing attempts. He also is the best pass catcher out of the backfield the team has with David Johnson out, so that will get him on the field more as well.
He won’t ever be able to shoulder the entire load that David Johnson did when he was healthy, but if he can flash some of his former greatness that had people talking 3 or 4 years ago, the Cardinals may not be as doomed in their rushing attack as we all initially thought.