The Cardinals’ running game has been excellent. But it shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle how important that 63-yard touchdown run was for Andre Ellington against the Lions. Ellington had a great start this season before he hurt his knee against the Saints and then watched Chris Johnson zoom in and take the starting job.
Ellington had only three carries Sunday. The other two netted zero yards. But at least he got the first hit out of the way on those.
“That first tackle I got (was crucial),” Ellington said. “The run, I knew I could do that. But getting that first hit out of the way, man, getting those nerves out, man, that felt good.”
That touchdown jaunt was what Ellington does, however. On a smaller scale, Ellington wanted to live down his preseason catch-and-run against the Chiefs when he was (somewhat stunningly) caught from behind. He admitted thinking during the run in Detroit, “I’m not getting caught this time.”
Big picture, coming off a knee injury, the one thing everyone was waiting to see was the explosive Ellington. Even Ellington. In one race to the pylon, everyone understood Ellington was back as a part of what has become a very effective three-headed ground game.
“It meant a lot,” Ellington said. “It made me feel comfortable to where I am right now, like, ‘OK, I’m ready.’ I wasn’t too sure. I knew I felt better and I knew I was working hard, but to break a long run like that, it raised my confidence more than anything.”
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