A couple of weeks ago, Andre Ellington was a snappy second or third-round pick, a running back many were excited about. Today, he's another worry for fake football teams.
A left foot injury knocked Ellington out of Thursday's practice, and he had an MRI later in the day. The Cardinals have yet to confirm Ellington's status, but some are fearing a lengthy absence; the injury apparently is an aggravation of an existing problem. Here's a tweet from Fox reporter Mike Jurecki:
Update; Andre Ellington aggravated his left foot in practice on Thursday, underwent an MRI, hearing he could be out extended period of time.— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) September 5, 2014
Although Ellington has an extensive injury history (he was consistently hurt at Clemson; check Evan Silva's breakdown here), the Cardinals don't have much of a contingency plan. Veteran backup Jonathan Dwyer (four percent owned in Yahoo) is the next man up, not that his Steelers tape inspires a lot of confidence. He collected 623 yards rushing two years back (4.0 YPC). At 5-foot-11 and 229 pounds, he's theoretically built for goal-line work - though he scored just two touchdowns in that busy 2012 season (174 touches).
Stepfan Taylor looked ordinary in the exhibition season, but now he's someone the team might need as a change-of-pace back. He collected 115 yards on his 36 carries as a rookie last year, for what it's worth. He's two inches shorter and 13 pounds lighter than Dwyer.
If Ellington needs an extended rest, the burden shifts to the Arizona passing game. Carson Palmer moved into QB1 territory in the second half of 2013, getting comfortable with his two elite wideouts (Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd). Rookie John Brown looked like an intriguing No. 3 wideout in the summer. Palmer chucked 572 passes in last year's 10-6 season; I can't imagine that number going down if Ellington is out of the mix. Palmer is still unowned in about half of Yahoo leagues.