This can only be seen as good news for the Cardinals: Running back Andre Ellington, after his heaviest workload of the season Sunday in Oakland (30 touches), did not have to wear a boot on his left foot Wednesday — which had been a constant for Ellington, who has been dealing with a tendon problem for weeks.
“He’s not in a boot, which is nice for a Wednesday,” coach Bruce Arians said.
The reality is that Ellington will be dealing with the foot injury all season. And it’s possible the bootless Wednesday will be a one-week thing. But Arians, noting Ellington had a pair of drops Sunday and lined up wrong once, likes the possibilty that Ellington could practice more than he has been. Arians said Ellington, who has done very little Wednesdays, has usually been struggling during Thursday’s practices (when he again is limited.)
“It really hurts some timing in the passing game,” Arians said. “The practice time is hurting him. He’s gutting it up and is playing extremely well on Sundays, but the one week he practiced all week was, I thought, his best game. This one (in Oakland), he made a lot of plays, but again, there were more plays to be made.”
When Arians says the Cardinals would like about 70 percent of the game plan to involve Ellington, these are not small concerns.
Ellington insists he’s always familiar with the game plan and he works hard on his mental reps. The bootless development meant he’d be able to run in practice more than usual. But he acknowledged the timing in the passing game probably is hurt with little practice, especially since he isn’t a natural receiver. It’s just part of what Ellington and the Cardinals must account for this year.
“I understand it’s never going to feel good,” Ellington said. “It probably won’t feel good until January or February, whenever the season is over with. I’ll just take it day by day, try to keep it calmed down.”
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