Beanie Wells smiled, but then, he almost always smiles.
“They haven’t seen me at 100 percent yet,” the Cardinals’ running back said.
“They” is everyone. Coaches. Teammates. Fans. There was a hope – perhaps even an expectation, at least by the fan base – that Beanie Ball would sweep over the team in 2010. Kurt Warner had retired and Wells had flashed enough at the end of the 2009 season that his progression would be natural and a big season inevitable.
It just hasn’t worked out that way.
Derailed by a right knee injury in the final preseason game, Wells underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus, missed the first two games, and was brought back into the lineup. He did OK, getting his first 20-carry game in the NFL and later started for the first time. But then was felled for basically two games again thanks to an adverse reaction to a lubricant injection in the same knee.
Barring something unforeseen, Beanie will play Sunday in Kansas City. Coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t say Wells still would be the starter, as he did in his last full performance Oct. 31 against Tampa Bay, but regardless of whether Wells is starting or not, “he’ll get a lot of plays,” Whisenhunt said.