Andre Ellington (USAT Images)
Just in case you missed it on Sunday, check this clip of Arizona rookie Andre Ellington doing bad things to Darrelle Revis, en route to a 25-yard gain. You won't often see Revis (or any competent pro) juked to the turf, so it's worth noting the event, and filing away the name of the perpetrator.
Ellington has served as a high-impact rotational runner for Arizona in the opening weeks, playing 76 total snaps to Rashard Mendenhall's 139. The first-year back has rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries (6.2 YPC), plus he's caught nine balls for 113. To date, Mendenhall has gained 233 scrimmage yards on 59 touches; Ellington has gained 181 on 20.
Mendenhall was really a mess in Arizona's narrow Week 4 win, rushing for just 21 yards on 12 carries, fumbling twice, and running out of bounds as his team was attempting to drain the clock. Cards head coach Bruce Arians then called him out in postgame comments:
"Rashard had a very tough day and he can’t play that way. He can’t run out of bounds. He’s a veteran. And to run out of bounds at the end of the game, that was probably the worst mistake he made all day. We need to practice him a little bit harder. I think we’ve been too easy on him in practice because of his injuries."
So that was something less than a vote of confidence.
If Rashard continues plodding away at 3.4 yards per carry, Ellington will surely see additional touches. Arians has been remarkably loyal to Mendenhall, but the current arrangement can't last much longer. Two weeks ago, Arians referred to Ellington as a back who can carry the full load. Let's not assume the rookie is stuck permanently in a supporting role.
Ellington's collegiate highlight reel is full of the expected ridiculousness — he averaged 5.5 YPC in his career at Clemson, crossing the goal line 35 times. No, he's not quite in the 99th percentile on the NFL's height/weight chart (5-foot-9, 199), but he's also not strictly a perimeter runner. Ellington is widely available in Yahoo leagues at the moment (10 percent owned), so most of you can take a flier. In PPR, consider the kid a priority add, a flex with benefits.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Rashard Mendenhall
- Darrelle Revis
- Bruce Arians