Andre Ellington RB ARI 2 Days2 Comments

ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss believes Andre Ellington will get the call in short-yardage on a "few occasions."

Andre Ellington RB ARI 20 Days

Beat writer Kent Somers says Andre Ellington has proven to be more durable than the Cardinals thought.

Coach Bruce Arians coddled the 5'9/199 Ellington as a rookie, never giving him more than 15 carries or 35 snaps in a game. But he's changed his tune this offseason, talking up Ellington as a feature back and only rostering replacement-level big backs Jonathan Dwyer and Stepfan Taylor behind him. It's worth noting that Chris Johnson (5'11/203) and Jamaal Charles (5'11/199) have been two of the game's most durable runners of their era. We don't think the explosive Ellington will quite get to 300 touches, but 220 carries and 55 catches is very realistic.

Andre Ellington RB ARI 24 Days4 Comments

The Cardinals' website projects Andre Ellington to handle 20-22 touches per game this season.

Bruce Arians previously projected 25-30 touches per game, though that was obvious hyperbole. 20-22 touches per game is still pretty aggressive, and over a full 16-game schedule would put Ellington at 320-352 touches, in the Marshawn Lynch (337) and Jamaal Charles (329) range. LeSean McCoy led the NFL last year with 366 touches. We still wouldn't be surprised if Jonathan Dwyer and/or Stepfan Taylor became more involved than expected, but if the Cards' website is correct, Ellington could flirt with RB1 value in fantasy leagues.

Andre Ellington RB ARI 2 Months7 Comments

Andre Ellington did not have more than 15 carries in a game during his rookie year.

Coach Bruce Arians' recent assertion that he expects Ellington to handle "25-30 touches per game" was obvious hyperbole, but it's at least worth examining. Ellington didn't top 17 touches in a single game as a rookie, averaging 13.6 per week. Perhaps Ellington will climb to 17 touches a game in 2014 -- it'd be a win if he stayed healthy on that kind of workload -- but he's highly unlikely to compete for the league lead in touches. The Cardinals need to find a complement. Jonathan Dwyer and Stepfan Taylor are next up on the depth chart.

Andre Ellington RB ARI 2 Months10 Comments

Coach Bruce Arians reiterated Andre Ellington is the Cardinals' "No. 1 back" and is expected to get "25-30 touches per game."

Andre Ellington RB ARI 4 Months3 Comments

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians suggested he plans to remove Andre Ellington in all short-yardage situations.

Ellington is locked into a starting job with Rashard Mendenhall retiring, but the Cardinals want to be careful with how much of their offense they build around him. Both size and durability concerns should prevent him from an every-down role, leaving Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer to compete for short-yardage duties. Ellington had 39 catches as a rookie and is expected to see an increased workload in the receiving game. "His skill set is so unique," Arians said. "He can run the football 30 times a game if you do it correctly, but you'd rather have him have 10 catches and 20 carries. You've got to watch that you don't create too much stuff."

Andre Ellington RB ARI 5 Months

Speaking at the Combine on Friday, coach Bruce Arians said the Cardinals "want to build our offense around" Andre Ellington.

Andre Ellington RB ARI 5 Months1 Comment

GM Steve Keim reiterated that the Cardinals will use multiple backs going forward.

In a bit of encouraging news, Keim said Andre Ellington will get more work. But in the same breath, he said the explosive second-year man won't be "featured." In other words, Stepfan Taylor and Ryan Williams are going to be in the mix for carries and perhaps free agent Rashard Mendenhall will be re-signed if the price is right. For now, we can't project anything more than 190-230 total touches for Ellington in 2014.

Andre Ellington RB ARI 6 Months4 Comments

Andre Ellington plans to "put on a little more weight" this offseason in hopes of a larger 2014 role.

"He's just scraping the surface," Carson Palmer said of Ellington, who averaged 5.53 YPC as a sixth-round rookie, caught 39 passes, and scored four all-purpose TDs. Ellington is in a similar situation to Gio Bernard in Cincinnati, in need of his coaching staff to commit to him as a feature back in spite of his smallish (5'9/199) stature. Rashard Mendenhall is a free agent.

Andre Ellington RB ARI 7 Months

Andre Ellington rushed nine times for 30 yards and caught three passes for 12 yards in Sunday's Week 17 loss to the 49ers.

It's a quiet end to a wildly impressive rookie campaign for Ellington. It often seemed like the only one that could stop him was Bruce Arians as the sixth-round steal rushed 118 times for 652 yards (5.52 YPC) with three touchdowns and caught 38 passes for 371 more yards and another score. Ellington doesn't necessarily have prototypical feature back size at 5'9/199, but neither does Jamaal Charles or Chris Johnson. With wideout-like chops in the passing game, Ellington's role should grow significantly in 2014 even if the Cards bring back impending free agent Rashard Mendenhall. If they don't, Ellington is on track to be a superstar as soon next year.