Arians: Ellington likely game-day decision

Posted by Darren Urban on December 2, 2014 – 8:20 pm

It probably shouldn’t be that big of a surprise — Bruce Arians already said running back Andre Ellington wasn’t going to practice Wednesday — but on his weekly Sirius XM NFL appearance Tuesday night, Arians said Ellington probably won’t practice all week and will likely be a game-day decision whether he plays Sunday against Kansas City. Arians called Ellington’s hip pointer “severe” and a severe anything isn’t good. That means more Marion Grice, some Stepfan Taylor and Robert Hughes, and perhaps some Michael Bush mixed in.

(Please, no Ray Rice suggestions. Please.)

There was good news from Arians. Left tackle Jared Veldheer (ankle) should be able to practice this week. Guard Paul Fanaika (ankle) is more iffy.

And there was also the revelation that the Cardinals did inquire about trading for Alex Smith when the 49ers were looking to move him in early 2013. The 49ers quickly said no, not a surprise given the division rivalry. The Cards, of course, will face Smith Sunday when they play Kansas City.

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51 Responses to “Arians: Ellington likely game-day decision”

  1. By TucsonTim on Dec 2, 2014 | Reply

    Listening to Steve Young the other day on ESPN about how poorly most NFL QBs are playing, I thought it was interesting that he thought poor NFL QB coaching was more responsible than the current spread/read option college game producing poor candidates for the NFL.

    So, I start thinking, we probably have the best of the best when it comes to QB coaching.

    Then I realize this is the best they can do with Stanton, and our season is done. 🙁

  2. By DTL on Dec 2, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: any comments by coaches why Larsen swung to RG? Does it reflect some permanence to Coop at LG? Looks like … to the novice….

    PS: Alex Smith does not suck. We’re in for a game. But that big KC WR is a better match for PP. Just hope he can show a little quietude….

  3. By Darren Urban on Dec 2, 2014 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Larsen

    Arians said Coop is more comfortable at LG, and since Larsen is pretty flexible, that’s why they did that.

    What will be interesting is, if Fanaika is able to play this weekend, what guard combination we see.

  4. By georgiebird on Dec 2, 2014 | Reply

    The Cards FO has done a lot of good things-and there has been some bad-PP contract- and of course there have been some bad breaks.
    But as a Cards fan since 1960, this FO -more than any other- gives me the feeling that they are trying everything they can to win. And as a fan, I can’t ask for anything more than that.

  5. By Mark G. on Dec 2, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, do you think there is any chance that Arians switches to Lindley if the Card’s slide continues? Especially given their offensive woes.

  6. By Darren Urban on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Mark G —

    RE: Lindley


  7. By Dynosoar on Dec 2, 2014 | Reply


    wish I could give you twenty more thumbs up for your comment. As a fan, we can’t ask for anything more. We can want and hope for more, but can’t ask for more.

    I still believe in this Cardinals team.

    The Lombardi trophy or nothing at all!

  8. By Marlin on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Grice looked decent….his speed and moves are deception. Robert Hughes can do a few things too. May be a game where we need to get clever with some schemes and packages. Toney Jefferson can handle more reps. Biggest concern id Veldeer. If he can go and be 80%, that’s good. We’re gonna beat the Chiefs.

  9. By Smack28 on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Two games in five days this coming Sunday and Thursday against hard hitting teams does not bode well for the Cardinals. After getting embarrassed two weeks in a row, I am very concerned about the very near future and what happens on both the injury front and the confidence of this team. This grind will tell us everything we need to know about this “Next man up” theory. In my opinion the odds are definitely stacked against us to come out with a win or two. Oh well, this was fun while it lasted. Who really thought we could lose the offensive team captain and leader and continue winning the way we were?

  10. By ChristianR on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Well, after watching the comments commence for a couple days and hoping someone else would say something (people tend to disagree with my comments on this page), I now feel obligated to chime in. When I was in high school (which I know is much different from the pros), I played corner. I am 6’3″ and kind of slow for the position, so I was put in a lot of press/tight coverage. The ball rarely got thrown my way, so my receiver rarely caught it. The second corner was 5’8″ and one of the fastest guys on the team. He was coached to play off the receiver and to use his speed to fool the QB into thinking the receiver is open when he isn’t. PP had an awful week last week, but he is not nearly the worst corner on this team. Let’s remember how well this guy did against Calvin Johnson last week.
    In man coverage, everyone is going to get beat at times. Man coverage doesn’t work well against teams like Seattle where the QB can make time. When you’re only getting one sack on Matt Ryan and not getting the pressure you need, guys will get beat (let’s not forget what Harry Douglas did). I still stand by PP as being right there with Revis as the best man corner in the league (can’t truly compare to Sherman; man vs. zone is like night and day). Let’s not all abandon him as soon as the going gets tough. Same goes for Stanton, who proved to be very capable early on and helped beat the Lions, and the rest of the team. If there was a time they needed their loyal fans this season, it’s now.

  11. By clssylssy on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Fans can whine about Patrick Peterson all day or bag on Stanton but this game with the Chiefs is going to come down to a coaching battle between two old war horses that the league was ready to retire,and who have become the come back story of the past few years. Alex Smith is a good QB and KCs front seven and run game will really test the Cards defense but I’m a believer that we should have this game if we play it like we did the 49ers; play fast, with intensity and never let off the gas! BA believes we can win with Stanton, and I do too, but, he is going to have to change his play calling and adapt the offense to play to Drew’s strengths. Stanton has shown he can get the job done and has the mobility to extend plays by scrambling so, with our run game sucking swamp water, BA needs to get creative and change things up this week. Arians is very familiar with Alex Smith and should be able to craft some plays to capitalize on his vulnerabilities, but. you can bet Andy Reid is just as observant of our offense and the play calling of late has been pretty predictable. Having Ellington a “game time decision” may get some other players more involved who KC might not be as knowledgeable of and we have a far superior receiving corp IF we can hold on to the ball and if we don’t play scared. Having Fitz back will be HUGE not only because of his skillset but moreover because of his leadship and ability to inspire confidence, motivation and a sense of control. When questioned about our lack of intensity in Atlanta, BA replied that he thought some of the younger guys had bought into the Falcons being “easy”…which is exactly why we needed a veteran presence which we didn’t really have on offense. This has been a saving grace on defense this year and I’m confident our D will bounce back.
    A lot is being made of Charles being injured but I’m betting he will play enough to make this a tough game and even if he doesn’t take every carry, the Chiefs RB corp are solid.The first thing Andy Reid did in KC was to rebuild his lines but, having Matt Shaunessey back will be big, even with the loss of Tyrann Mathieu.
    It seems that with a few bumps in the road, the “winds have changed” in Cardinal land, and BA is now beginning to get a feel for what Coach Whisenhunt experienced! I believe if we can at least hang on to the wins at home it will be a major factor in how our season ends and their is still hope. The Birdgang will be facing a major challenge this week as we go up against the most passionate fans in the NFL and if we can’t beat them in the stands we have no business criticizing our guys on the field. I have a bunch of company coming in from KC, who also, on occasion are Cards fans and when I asked my brother which jersey he would wear, he just laughed and replied…”game time decision”. COME’N BIRDGANG…TIME TO BRING IT! RESET & FINISH STRONG!

  12. By D on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Steve Keim should make sure he accidently runs into T. Hali after the game on the field…he should be a player the Cards look to trade a late draft pick this spring. With J. Houston probably getting the franchise tag this spring, and First round draft pick D. Ford on the roster as a pass rusher, Hali could be had this spring….

  13. By Dr. G. on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Christian… Nice write-up promoting Peterson, perhaps you can explain how he is comparable to Revis over any # of years, and also how much of the $70MIL he has earned…and why he continues to embarrass himself and our team with pretending oratory and adolescent behavior… Go…

    Peterson would be best at safety…my observation since Spring. His real notoriety was his tremendous return TDs long ago as a rookie. Last year?….nada…he waved and waved and waved… so they gave up on that hoping he would concentrate on CB work. We must give Keim a mulligan on this contract…PP had everyone fooled riding that rookie return effort into the big $$$$$$$. He wears a shirt with $$$on it.

    Incidentally, blind loyalty does not work well in a business. PP is an employee to be held accountable, not to be idolized. I do not see how he will ever complete the contract.. The guarantee ((ugh)) has affected his work ethic…later

  14. By Scott H on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Ugh, I don’t even want to hear the words Game Time Decision anymore. After the last 2 weeks with Fitz, we’ve seen how this goes….

    Per what I see on, the hip pointer is being called severe. So…..even if he plays, what are we really expecting here? I love Ellington for what he is, I’m NOT down on Ellington. But I’m not surprised he is beaten up at this point.

    BTW, a question about the Michael Bush thing…..since he’s been available all along….if anyone in the front office thought he could help, why wasn’t he brought in back in October??? I mean, we didn’t lose Dwyer last week….if Bush were brought in a month ago, maybe we aren’t trying to give him a crash course on our playbook leading up to Week13. And if he had been brought in in October, maybe Ellington isn’t as run into the ground as he is now.

    Sorry if I sound frustrated, but….I am!

  15. By JohnnyBluenose on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    I am sorry that Ellington is banged up but many of you have been posting all season that he probably could not stand up to the pounding he would be subjected to in BA’s offense. It seems you were right. Given the lack of production from Ellington in the last number of games I really don’t think it matters if he plays on Sunday or not. We will only win if our defense and special teams dominate and if our passing game comes through, especially on third down. Winning the turnover game would help a lot too. We need this game badly. The Chiefs are desperate. We can expect a strong effort from them, maybe some trick plays on offense. I hope we are ready.

  16. By Richard L on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply


    Here is my list of the top 5 questions you must be sick of being asked on the Blog and Birds of a Feather Chat. Let me know if I got it right.

    1. When will Coop start and earn his draft pick?
    2. Will the Cards sign Adrian Wilson?
    3. Ray Rice. Anyone, anyone?
    4. Why don’t we throw the ball to Larry?
    5. When can DWash return?

  17. By Darren Urban on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Richard L —

    RE: Questions

    Surprisingly few inquiries about Peterson this week.

  18. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    With Ellington likely out, 3 yards and a cloud of dust sounds pretty good. lets get Drew into 3rd and 4 with Fitz back. Then he’s got Jaron Fitz and John or Carlson to get 5 yards. But if he goes for the 30 yarder to Ted or John or Michael too much, on 3rd, we’re screwed, no?

    That pass to Ted on 3rd and 2, trailing ATL and haven’t having scored in a month was poor, especially when Ted was not close to open… but thats the mistake of what is essentially a rookie QB. So we suck it up and go to the next set of downs…

    So, can, no, will the Cards get one Sunday?

  19. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    The QB problem is not Stanton, it is the Cards WR’s failing to catch the ball. Jaron Brown should be benched and Ginn should start. Floyd’s fumble was a drive killer. Floyd doesn’t show much desire or tenacity on the field lately either.

    For the return game…. BA should replace Ginn. Anyone can fair catch a ball.

  20. By D on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Richard L-

    Those questions are as tired/old as Chris Berman and McRibs…

    –Coop will start next year
    – If Adub is signed by AZ, it will be a one day thing so he can retire
    – No Ray Rice here, Cards will add to the RB position in the draft
    – Larry is on his downside of his career, more a possession type receiver now, like what Boldin is in SF
    – DWash still has another suspension coming to him, Cards will release him in March..

  21. By Dr. G. on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren…

    Re: Few Peterson questions…?

    The fans understand Peterson now. The problem:: Peterson does not understand Peterson. He should have a question for you….later

  22. By Dynosoar on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply


    any chance Adrian Peterson signs with the Cardinals? If we could have him AND Ray Rice in the backfield as a tandem and with Cooper opening the holes in front of them.

    And that would open up opportunities to throw the ball more to Fitzgerald.

    (Richard L, you deserve some thumbs up my friend.)

  23. By Scott H on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    NJAzCardsFan –

    I hear ya. I think it is hard to truly evaluate Stanton’s play over the last couple of weeks given he has had no help from the running game and very little help from his receivers in the absence of the team’s BEST WR / offensive player in Fitzgerald. Also, the defense played its worst game of the season against Atlanta. Stanton was supposed to overcome all of that and win games – literally – by himself?

    Really, what were people expecting???

  24. By robert on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    I am the one that has been posting over rated comments about PP BEFORE he got that ridiculous $$$$..worst DB on roster..period..his technique stinks and not having one pass deflection last week was unbelievable..

    So wondering about Bush..tell me how Blunt furn for two plus touchdowns his first game on 12-15 carries and we can’t get this guy on the field?

    I am the one that said ellington would not last the season the way the cards are using him..BA the last few games your play calling is awful..that 3rd and two long pass..need more short passes on first down to give us a chance

    Man we better win this game..if not we can go winless and finish 9-7

  25. By Andy Toler on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply


    I went to the game in Atlanta Sunday and I still don’t see how the Powers pick was called an incomplete pass. It looked clean from the stands and from the replay on this website as well. Was it discussed on TV? That was a real game changer at the beginning of the game.

  26. By Darren Urban on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Andy —

    RE: Powers

    I did not see the TV broadcast.

  27. By Steve on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: Speaking of QB’s you mentioned the Cards early interest in then 49er Alex Smith. I think RG3 will be made available for trade this off season by the Skins, do you think he fits the skill set that Arians looks for in QB’s? Do you see the Cards showing any interest in him?

  28. By Darren Urban on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Steve —


    Never say never, but he does not seem to fit what BA likes to do.

  29. By Chuck 1 on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Do I wish Ellington bad luck? NO!!!
    However, it’s time for one or more RBs to step up and see if they can improve the running game.
    We have Taylor, Grice, Hughes & Bush.
    Git ‘er done!!!

  30. By TucsonTim on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    I have a question.

    How many teams in the Super Bowl era of football have had their starting QB go down for the season and still made the playoffs?

  31. By Darren Urban on Dec 3, 2014 | Reply

    Tucson —

    RE: Backup QBs

    They didn’t necessarily all have their starters go down for the season, but nine QBs who started and spent at least part of the season as the backup have led their teams to Super Bowl wins:

    Earl Morrall (who actually did it twice, for the Colts and Dolphins)
    Roger Staubach
    Terry Bradshaw
    Jim Plunkett
    Doug Williams
    Jeff Hostetler
    Kurt Warner
    Trent Dilfer
    Tom Brady

  32. By Austen on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Any chance we could see Bush this weekend? Or do you think there is a better chance we see him on Thursday night? Thanks!

  33. By Darren Urban on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Austen —

    RE: Bush

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him active against the Chiefs.

  34. By much.faster on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    i have just read your piece about stanton, and i agree with you. the problem at the cards at the moment is

    1. the run game
    2. the run game
    3. the run game

    and there the blame is to split at the managment team and the coaches equally.
    when dwyer was suspended at the beginning of the season, keim should have brought in immediately a reinforcement (i will not mention rice, lol, because i`m a fan and have to accept the decisions of the team, but i must not be happy about them).
    and when arians started to overuse ellington, the running back coach should have stopped him.
    and, arians tactics are great, streching the field, but when you are at the 20 yard line, you have to be able to run over the other team.
    and the cards lack this ability.
    palmer did a great job, but stanton is not palmer, he needs a lot of practice to go there. but, as you wrote, stanton is not the problem.
    we need a running game.
    and for the next year a runningback coach with more balls.

    and now i will pray and hope for a miracle on sunday, a win against the chiefs is a must if the team want`s into the post season. maybe bush can have a immediatelly impact for the run, to win us this game. considered all the injuries this team has suffered, it would only be a fair compensation.

  35. By cert33 on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    That has always been an interesting list. A mixture of savvy older veteran QB’s in the twilight of their careers and untested young QBs (at the time). I am not sure that Stanton would fit in with such notable company. He is intelligent, knows the offense, and reads the field well, but is lacking in regards to natural talent and accuracy. Probably will end up being a coach. Perhaps one of the younger back-up QBs.

  36. By Richard L on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Dynosoar, Well played.

  37. By Dynosoar on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    C’mon guys,

    are ya’ll tlling me you didn’t see the humor in Richard L’s post and the humor in Darren’s reply and the humor I was going for as well.

    Can we not have humor from time to time on this site?

    Also, welcome to the two who give thumbs down anytime they see my name regardless of content. Haha!

  38. By Big Ken on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    @ Steve I guess it’s kind of early to speculate, but I wondered the same thing about Nick Foles being a Cardinal. What if Carson doesn’t recover/come back?

  39. By D on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Does the dome provide enough space for the kicker and punter to practice?

  40. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Toler —

    Seeing the play live, I thought it was a pick. On the replay, I thought it was pretty clear the ball was on the ground (and not one of those “it’s on the ground but he’s controlling it” situations).

  41. By Scott H on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Robert –

    I hear ya about Blount. I fear the Cardinals made a BIG mistake passing on him. IF he turns out to be a problem for the Pats, too, then I’ll certainly take that into account. But all I’ve seen so far is a BIG power back who can bull his way through tackles and carry people with him down the field. I think the Pats are probably nothing but thrilled right now with having a guy who gives them that dimension and that kind of balance on offense.

    And what have the Cardinals been missing all season? And what missing piece is killing them right now?

  42. By Chuck 1 on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H.,

    We have two BIG RBs; Hughes and Bush.
    BA doesn’t want to use them. He prefers to use his “little” RB, Ells, who isn’t up to the tough yards between the tackles.

  43. By Andy Toler on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa – Thanks.

    Bad thing about watching your team at an away game is the other team won’t show replays on the megatron if they think the call might go against them.

  44. By clssylssy on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    We need Larry Foote! Sure hope his foot problem isn’t serious (although sore feet) are always a problem, if for no other reason than to mess with concentration) and wonder why BA didn’t mention it previously as it sounds it happened toward the end of the game in Atlanta. What is meant by “foot problem” exactly…that is a pretty broad category?

  45. By Scott H on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Chuck 1 –

    Well, if we don’t use them, then we don’t have them. And until we actually see anything of significance from Hughes or Bush, I’m not going to consider having them the same as having what Blount is right now, which looks like a pretty sure thing.

  46. By William Barry on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    We will win this Sunday, and then Seattle will lose to Philly, and SF gets caught in a trap game vs Oakland….I really home grice and Michael bush can run the ball this week………………We will still win the division. GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. By cert33 on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Re: L. Blount
    Blount is “off the field” bad news that has changed teams frequently. Never see him on a Bidwill team. Sometimes his antics are not off the field, I am still amazed that he didn’t get prison time for the Boise St. sideline assault. He should have.

  48. By Chuck 1 on Dec 4, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H,

    At some point, Blount will cause trouble. The Cards don’t need that.

  49. By Dave Chaney on Dec 5, 2014 | Reply

    Not complaining about Carson Palmer, but…I have often wondered what it would be like if the Cards had come out winners in the Alex Smith or Peyton Manning sweepstakes. They are both healthy and playing just fine. I would have enjoyed watching them throw to our fine wideouts. Oh well, dreams are cheap. The team has an extremely tough final 3 games and we need all the luck, good fortune and great play we can get. Way too many injuries this season, way too many. GO CARDS!

  50. By hminus on Dec 5, 2014 | Reply

    Stanton needs run support to be successful,as Ron Wolfley observed in an article he wrote last season,there is NO success w/play action w/o decent run support…we beat Seattle last season because 21 carries Mendenhall…15 carries Ellington…w/that run balance,even 4 int’s couldnt derail our victory…GET A RUN GAME OR WATCH OUR SEASON SPIRAL DOWN THE DRAIN…SHEESH!!!…

  51. By Scott H on Dec 5, 2014 | Reply

    Dave Chaney –

    It’s fair to wonder about that. I was pretty interested in Smith initially but I think they got a more talented QB in Palmer. Unfortunately, Palmer suddenly seems injury prone.

    Manning? I think Manning ended up in Denver because that is where HE wanted to be. I don’t think the Cardinals or anyone else were going to change his mind. I think HE wanted to be in the AFC and I think the Broncos had the most to offer. Having John Elway in the front office probably didn’t hurt.

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