Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall was ruled out for today’s contest vs the Atlanta Falcons, and that led to a big opportunity for rookie RB Andre Ellington. Early in the third quarter, Ellington has 11 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown, and his team leads the Falcons 21-6.
Mendenhall and Ellington have both gotten plenty of carries for the Cardinals this year. Ellington has 179 rushing yards on 28 carries, plus 190 receiving yards on 20 catches. He has scored once each on the ground and through the passing game.
But Mendenhall has just 281 rushing yards and three scores, plus 66 receiving yards. To sum it up, Ellington had 369 yards vs Mendenhall’s 347.
Now that Head Coach Bruce Arians sees that Mendenhall has been holding back what’s already a limited offense, he’ll see that Ellington needs to get more touches. The Cardinals have one of the worst rushing offenses in the NFL.
Assuming that Ellington makes it through this game and continues to play well, he should be the starter going forward and help spark this Cardinals offense.