Andre Ellington feels good.
The running back, on injured reserve, had surgery in early December for what the team officially describes as a “core muscle injury,” bringing to a close a difficult sophomore season. After flashing so much potential as a rookie and earning the spot as the Cardinals’ main back for this season, Ellington hurt his foot late in the preseason — a problem that didn’t go away and was the first of multiple injury issues.
“I was frustrated because I knew what I could do when I am 100 percent, but it is the nature of the beast,” Ellington said. “You’ve just got to deal with injuries playing this game.”
Ellington had the foot injury. He had a hip injury and then suffered the core injury against Atlanta Nov. 30 from which he could not recover.
“I’ve been dealing with (injuries) all year,” Ellington said. “People didn’t think I was banged up (that much) because I really didn’t show it, I found ways not to show it, but my latest injury was something I couldn’t overcome. I tried to, but it just didn’t happen.”
After averaging more than five yards a carry as a rookie, Ellington gained just 3.3 yards a carry this season, with 660 yards on 201 attempts and another 46 receptions for 395 yards. Twice he reached 90 yards (91 in New York and 95 in Dallas) but never had a 100-yard game rushing. He did have 112 yards receiving in Denver, thanks to his 81-yard touchdown catch on a pass from Logan Thomas.
These days, Ellington has been spending some time on the stationary bike. On IR, there is no pressure to go fast, since Ellington cannot return this season. The surgery, Ellington said, “is what I needed.” He said he will be fine by the time the Cardinals begin offseason work in the spring.
“I’m taking this time right now to get back to where I need to be,” Ellington said. “Unfortunately I can’t play but it’s a good time to take things slow and by the time we get going again I’ll be full speed.”
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