Andre Ellington finished the 2015 season with 45 carries for 289 yards and three touchdowns, which he supplemented with 15 receptions (on 24 targets) for 148 yards across 10 games.
After enduring multiple ailments in 2014, Ellington was named the Arizona Cardinals ' starting running back in advance of Week 1, but injury woes in the form of a PCL sprain immediately took hold, requiring three consecutive absences. The No. 1 gig was ably filled by Chris Johnson (tibia) for the next 10 games before both backs were knocked out with respective injuries (and Johnson for the rest of the season). Taking advantage of the void was rookie David Johnson, who stated his case as the team's every-down, all-purpose back of the future. Upon his second return in Week 16, Ellington made brief appearances through the end of Arizona's playoff run in the NFC championship game. However, he accumulated just 13 runs for 45 yards and two catches (on five targets) for 12 yards in four outings as the younger Johnson's primary backup. Considering his bloated medical chart, Ellington's ceiling may rest as a change-of-pace option, especially if Chris Johnson or another viable back joins the fray in the offseason.
Ellington has received touches in 11 of the Cardinals' 17 games this season, but his non-existent showing wasn't a surprise due to a season-low seven snaps. Still, he should continue to complement lead back David Johnson within the offense, as Ellington has received between three and eight touches in 10 contests as a reserve.
The modest workload didn't reap dividends in the box score in what amounted to a scaled-back game plan, including Carson Palmer's (finger) removal from the contest at halftime. Ellington didn't receive a touch until the 4:10 mark of the third quarter, yet he was the only Arizona RB outside of David Johnson to contribute, notching two carries for two yards and one reception (on two targets) for seven yards. With a bye week to prepare for the divisional round, Ellington will continue therapy to reduce any remnants of the turf toe that forced absences from Weeks 13 through 15.
A Cardinals win in Week 17 must coincide with a Panthers loss to the Buccaneers in order to achieve home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. However, if the Panthers hold a noticeable lead early in the game, it may be enough to spur head coach Bruce Arians to sit David Johnson and Ellington in order to preserve them for future weeks. If the preceding comes to pass, the Cardinals would be down to Stepfan Taylor (shoulder) and Kerwynn Williams out of the backfield.
Andre Ellington (toe) is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Seahawks.
Ellington should be a go this week, though he's a Week 17 fantasy dart, as a change-of-pace/complementary option working behind David Johnson.
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