Friday, November 27, 2015, 6:20pm
Things could begin to change Sunday versus the Cleveland Browns.
Every game, all season
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Friday there will be more in the gameplan for Ellington this week, per Darren Urban of the team's official website.
Ellington played 18 snaps in Monday night's win, but compiled just five rushes for 21 yards and three receptions. Since Week 5 -- when he returned from a knee injury suffered Week 1 -- Ellington has garnered just nine total carries in three games.
"I think BA (head coach Bruce Arians) has stuff for him and he didn't get to it, but I'm sure he'll get to it this week," offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said of Ellington. "As you saw (Monday night), there was a series where I think he pretty much was in there the whole series because he (Arians) wanted to get him going.
"He's got fresh legs, obviously."
With Johnson's resurgence, the Cardinals could ease Ellington back into the rotation and keep him as a chance-of-pace back, which best suits his skill set, the story said. He could also be more involved in the passing game. The thought all along was that David Johnson's involvement would be the one to suffer from the return of Ellington.
Cards GM Steve Keim said the one-year contract under which running back Chris Johnson is now playing is “something we will look at” in terms of a potential extension. That sounds about right — as good as Johnson has been, Keim and the Cardinals are very careful with older veterans who they have signed to one-year deals, and regardless of how well they play, the Cards will be smart with further contract offers (see Dansby, Karlos and Cromartie, Antonio.) They will have a number they are comfortable with, and if it isn’t good enough for Johnson, the Cardinals will be ready to move on. That’s the model.
Still, Johnson is tied for the second-most rushing yards in the league with 405 yards (the Bears’ Matt Forte has 438) and after not having an offseason and getting hurt (hamstring) almost as soon as he showed up to training camp, Keim noted Johnson is still on the upswing.
“Chris Johnson is just now starting to hit his stride,” Keim said during his appearance on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports 98.7.
With Andre Ellington active, CJ still got most of the early work and even rookie David Johnson had two in-close TD runs. Ellington's time didn't come until later in the game for the most part. The Cardinals are in a good situation here and even if they want to maintain Chris Johnson beyond this season, because it should be under their terms. David Johnson sure looks like the longer-term answer at RB and could form a nice combo with Ellington if he could just stay healthy.
Friday, October 9, 2015, 6:11pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 5. Ellington will play in Week 5, though it appears that he’ll take a backseat to Chris Johnson for the time being.
Thursday, October 8, 2015, 6:11pm
Before he was injured, Cardinals RB Andre Ellington was the clear No. 1 option, while many waited to see if Chris Johnson had any game left and if David Johnson could contribute as a rookie. A month later, all three are desirable choices, but Bruce Arians isn’t hiding how he plans to divvy up the playing time.
“It’s not hard, because the young guy (David Johnson) sits down,” Arians said.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 6:19pm
Friday, October 2, 2015, 6:45pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 4. Ellington is expected to play per Josina Anderson but is officially a game-time decision. HC Bruce Arians expects that Chris Johnson will continue to get “15-20” touches even when Ellington returns to the fold. No word on whether this is a permanent situation, but Arians is apparently pleased with Johnson’s production this season. He has 219 yards and two touchdowns on 52 carries. The team may elect to let Ellington heal fully since they are getting good production out of the running back position without him.
Thursday, October 1, 2015, 7:11pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee) took limited practice reps Wednesday. HC Bruce Arians expects that Chris Johnson will continue to get “15-20” touches even when Ellington returns to the fold. No word on if this is a permanent situation, but Arians is apparently pleased with Johnson’s production this season. He has 219 yards and two touchdowns on 52 carries. The team may elect to let Ellington heal fully since they are getting good production out of the running back position without him.
Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:02pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee, doubtful) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is doubtful for Week 3. Ellington’s surprise return gives him a chance to play this week, but Chris Johnson and David Johnson have done a pretty good job of holding down the fort, so there’s no need to rush him back. If he does play, he’ll be limited.
Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:16pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee) did not practice Wednesday. The team is hoping that Ellington can return in Week 4, but Chris Johnson and David Johnson have done a pretty good job of holding down the fort, so there’s no need to rush Ellington back.
The rookie running back looked very good with limited touches, and even with the talent easy to see – and the fans clamoring for more – Bruce Arians was simply not going to increase the back’s workload too far, too fast. Eventually, in 2013, Andre Ellington was allowed to do more.
David Johnson, the Cardinals’ current rookie running back, has been spectacular in his brief and sheltered NFL career. In two games – and with only nine touches – Johnson has three touchdowns, including a franchise-record 108-yard kickoff return and a 55-yard
reception. The small sample size has produced 8.4 yards a carry, and 75.5 yards per kickoff return.
But like Ellington – and Arians acknowledged his handling of Johnson and Ellington is “very similar” – Johnson’s role will likely continue to be limited. In 2013, Ellington played behind veteran Rashard Mendenhall. In 2015, Johnson is behind veteran Chris Johnson – and when Ellington returns from his knee injury, he too will jump ahead of the rookie.
None of this is a surprise.
“I definitely talked to Andre a lot about what he did his rookie year,” David Johnson said. “He said the same thing: Be patient and it will come to me. B.A. knows exactly what he wants out of the team.”
Arians said last week he wants his rookies to earn their playing time. Then someone like David Johnson comes up with multiple explosive plays, and it seems counterintuitive to leave such ability on the bench, the story said. The story went on to say the reasoning isn’t about rookie versus veteran, necessarily. It’s a very real concern that too much responsibility would slow Johnson down – especially after Johnson missed a chunk of training camp with a hamstring injury. Pass protection was specifically mentioned, and always seems to come up with rookie RBs. Like Johnson, fantasy owners will have to be patient, too.
Monday, September 21, 2015, 9:32am
Palmer threw for 185 yards on 17-for-24 passing, while targeting eight different receivers, but four of his completions went for touchdowns, including a flea-flicker in the third quarter. The Bears bit on a run-action on Chris Johnson, who tossed the ball back to Palmer, who then hit Larry Fitzgerald for a 28-yard touchdown.
Arizona ran for only one of its five offensive touchdowns.
It was David Johnson who ironically had the team's only rushing touchdown. He also had a kick return TD as well. Johnson still only have five carries on the day but sure made the most of them. Many thought Johnson wouldn't be involved all that much, and while that was technically true, he sure made the most of his five carries. It's going to be hard for the Cards to keep touches away from Johnson even if Chris Johnson continues to play well. He's probably still a risky play but David Johnson is also worth a pickup if you can afford to stash him.
"This week, he will be the No. 1 running back, hands down," said Weinfuss, who said that should include goal-line and third-down work.
Although David Johnson had a breakout moment with his 55-yard touchdown catch to clinch a 31-19 victory over the New Orleans Saints last week, Weinfuss said he doesn't expect a time share. He pointed out that David Johnson played only five snaps last week with zero carries.
Weinfuss event went on to say that if CJ2K plays well in Ellington's absence, he may even hold on to the job. Chris Johnson looks like a solid pickup right now, and maybe even beyond, for those looking to boost their RB position.
Friday, September 18, 2015, 6:37pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 2. Chris Johnson should lead the backfield in touches, but David Johnson will be in the mix, especially in the passing game.
- Page 1