Ellington has been released by the Buccaneers, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
With Ellington no longer in the mix, the Bucs' backfield currently comprises Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale. Ellington will now look to carve out a change-of-pace role with another team.
Ellington rushed three times for nine yards and brought in both of his targets for 34 yards in the Buccaneers' 17-15 preseason win over the Cowboys on Thursday.
Like the other two Buccaneers backs that saw carries Thursday -- Bruce Anderson and Dare Ogunbowale -- Ellington couldn't get much going on the ground, especially considering gained 11 yards on one tote and netted minus-2 on his other pair of rushing touches. It was a different story through the air, as the 30-year-old led Tampa in receiving yards and tallied a team-high 23-yard reception on one of his two grabs. The battle for the third running back role between Ellington and Ogunbowale has been a heated one all summer, and it remains to be seen who'll emerge victorious at final cuts in the coming days.
Ellington rushed six times for 21 yards and brought in his sole target for 11 yards in the Buccaneers' 13-12 preseason win over the Browns on Friday.
Ellington and his primary competition for the third running back job, Dare Ogunbowale, saw almost equal opportunity in the contest, with the latter outpacing Ellington by a carry, a rushing yard and a reception apiece. Ellington did provide another solid accounting of himself in the contest and appears to still be in relatively good shape for a roster spot, assuming the team keeps at least four running backs.
Ellington rushed six times for 15 yards and brought in all four targets for 14 yards in the Buccaneers' 16-14 preseason win over the Dolphins on Friday. He also lost a fumble.
Ellington couldn't get much going in the running game and fumbled on the third play of the Buccaneers' second possession. However, he atoned to an extent with his sure hands. Ellington didn't see any reps in the return game as he had in the exhibition opener, but he otherwise got a fairly long look again by preseason standards. However, Dare Ogunbowale, who's battling for a backup running back job himself, outdid the veteran through the air with a 41-yard reception on his way to a 3-54 line, making next week's third preseason game against the Browns a potentially pivotal one for Ellington.
Ellington rushed four times for nine yards, brought in his only target for nine yards, and returned three kickoffs for 59 yards in the Buccaneers' 30-28 preseason loss to the Steelers on Friday.
The veteran running back saw action behind the top duo of Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones, as expected. Ellington couldn't do much on the ground while playing with second- and third-string offensive linemen, but he proved solid on kickoff returns during what was his first game action since 2017 with the Texans. Fellow reserve back Dare Ogunbowale paced the Buccaneers with 10 carries and two rushing touchdowns Friday and is also capable of returning kicks, so the battle between him and Ellington could be one that extends through the last preseason game.
Ellington is one of five running backs currently remaining on the Buccaneers' roster following last Friday's release of Shaun Wilson, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
The veteran reunited with former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians back on Feb. 19, when he inked a free-agent deal with the Buccaneers after spending 2018 out of the NFL. Ellington, a 2013 sixth-round pick, beat the odds over his first two seasons in Arizona, rushing for 1,312 yards, adding another 766 through the air, and scoring nine total touchdowns (six rushing, three receiving). However, after a pair of forgettable campaigns in 2016 and 2017, Ellington finds himself trying to resurrect his career under the man who originally brought him into the league. The 30-year-old back is hoping to hold off Dare Ogunbowale and undrafted rookie Bruce Anderson, both of whom also have special teams experience, for a backup job behind the top duo of Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones II.
Ellington signed a contract with the Buccaneers on Tuesday.
Ellington spent 2018 out of football, unable to latch on with a team after splitting the previous campaign between Arizona and Houston. A reunion with coach Bruce Arians makes sense for all parties, with the 30-year-old running back hoping to rediscover some of his magic from an impressive rookie season with the Cardinals back in 2013. Ellington will need to battle for a spot on the 53-man roster, hoping to secure a role on passing downs.
Ellington, an unrestricted free agent, believes he's currently in the best physical shape he's been in since his rookie year, David Shelton of The Charleston Post Courier reports.
The 29-year-old has spent much of his career battling injuries, though he's still managed to play at least 10 games in each of his five NFL seasons. Likely just a pass-catching specialist at this point in his career, Ellington is hoping for a chance to compete for a roster spot. The free-agent market hasn't been friendly to passing-down backs, with Charles Sims settling for $200,000 guaranteed while Shane Vereen and Lance Dunbar also remain unsigned.
Ellington had two carries for five yards and six catches on nine targets for 72 yards in four games with the Texans.
Ellington began the 2017 season as a pass-catching specialist for the Cardinals and had some productive games early. His name was mentioned as a possible fill-in when David Johnson suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week 1. However, the Cardinals went to great lengths to avoid using Ellington in the RB rotation. The 28-year-old was eventually released and landed with the Texans for the final weeks of the season. There were opportunities for Ellington as a receiver in Houston due to injuries at wideout, and he played 47 snaps in his Week 13 debut. However, as the injury situation improved, Ellington was limited to just 22 snaps over the final four weeks. The Texans are already set at running back with Lamar Miller and D'Onta Foreman. If Alfred Blue returns to the fold, there will be little room for Ellington.
Ellington was active but did not play a single snap in Sunday's loss to the Jaguars.
Ellington logged 11 touches over the last two games but had no such opportunities in Sunday's blowout with Alfred Blue having season highs in touches and rushing yards. The 28-year-old was a low-value option prior to Week 15 and now has another tough matchup against the Steelers defense this week.
Ellington (knee) doesn't carry an injury designation into Sunday's game against the Jaguars after practicing fully Friday.
The same applies to fellow running back Alfred Blue (concussion), so Ellington is in line to have have some company in the Texans' backfield mix behind starter Lamar Miller (knee). In that capacity, neither Ellington nor Blue represent high-percentage fantasy plays against the Jaguars defense that has allowed just six rushing scores through 13 games.
Ellington practiced in a limited fashion Wednesday due to a knee issue.
With Alfred Blue (concussion) practicing fully Wednesday, Ellington could have some company in the Texans' backfield mix behind starter Lamar Miller in Week 15 against the Jaguars. Neither Ellington nor Blue represent high-percentage fantasy plays against the Jaguars' stout defense, in any case.
Ellington had three carries for six yards and caught one of two targets for an additional 16 yards in Sunday's 26-16 loss to the 49ers.
With Alfred Blue (concussion) inactive, Ellington moved up to second on the depth chart, but a banged-up offensive line with guys playing out of position was unable to create running room for either Ellington or starter Lamar Miller. With Houston running backs averaging less than three yards per carry (20 carries, 59 yards), the game plan shifted to the pass. Ellington's status for Week 15 against the Jaguars depends on Blue's recovery.
Ellington rushed twice for minus-6 yards while catching five of six targets for 56 yards in Sunday's 24-13 loss to Tennessee.
Ellington saw snaps at wide receiver in his Houston debut with Braxton Miller (concussion) and Bruce Ellington (hamstring) exiting early. The running back's value comes primarily from his contributions catching the ball, as Ellington's totaled 353 receiving yards compared to just 49 rushing yards in nine appearances between the Cardinals and Texans this season.
Ellington is inactive for Monday night's game against the Ravens.
Ellington's ability as a pass catcher out of the backfield could lead to him working in a complementary role behind Lamar Miller once he's more up to speed with the Houston offense, but Monday night at least, Alfred Blue will continue to back up Miller.
The Texans claimed Ellington off waivers Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Let go by the Cardinals after he was a healthy inactive for Arizona's loss Sunday to the Texans, Ellington will stick around in Houston to fortify a backfield that lost rookie running back D'Onta Foreman (Achilles) to a season-ending injury in the contest. Though he doesn't fit the power-back profile Foreman filled, Ellington is an adept pass catcher out of the backfield, a skill that should make him a fair complement to lead runner Lamar Miller. Ellington will have to get up to speed with the Texans' backfield before establishing himself as the top backup, but he has a decent chance of seeing meaningful snaps right off the bat with Alfred Blue (hamstring) uncertain to suit up Sunday against the Ravens after the injury prevented him from suiting up in Week 11.
The Cardinals released Ellington on Monday, Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Ellington caught 23 passes for 210 yards during a three-game stretch in Weeks 3-5, but his productivity largely was a symptom of shortcomings with the Arizona offense. He faded from relevance shortly after the team traded for Adrian Peterson, ultimately landing on the inactive list for Sunday's 31-21 loss to the Texans. Ellington could get a look elsewhere as a potential passing-down specialist. He showed some promise early in his career, but he's never had much luck staying healthy and seems to have lost much of his explosiveness along the way. D.J. Foster and Kerwynn Williams spelled Peterson on passing downs in Sunday's loss.
Ellington (coach's decision) is listed as inactive Sunday in Houston, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Head coach Bruce Arians has made Ellington a healthy scratch, allowing Kerwynn Williams, Elijhaa Penny and D.J. Foster to serve as potential change-of-pace options to Adrian Peterson.
Ellington played 43 of 80 offensive snaps during Thursday's 22-16 loss to the Seahawks en route to two carries for four yards and one touchdown and three receptions (on six targets) for 26 yards.
In his return from a one-game absence Week 10, Ellington managed just 14 of the Cardinals' 77 offensive snaps, receiving two touches (both catches) in the process. On Thursday, he actually handled seven more snaps on offense than starting RB Adrian Peterson. Of course, Peterson was a workhorse on the ground with 21 rushes for 29 yards, and will typically contain Ellington primarily to pass-catching duty. On the season, Ellington is averaging 4.1 catches on 6.3 targets for 37.1 yards per game, but Thursday's TD marked his first of 2017.
Ellington played 14 of 77 defensive snaps during Sunday's 20-10 win at San Francisco.
Limited in practice in advance of the game, Ellington's usage wasn't a surprise in the least. Moreover, with Adrian Peterson taking on a ridiculous 37 carries, Ellington was relegated to a change-of-pace option, reeling in two of three passes for 14 yards. The preceding development doesn't bode well for many touches in the future, but Ellington seems to be healthier than he has in weeks following a full walk-through Monday, per Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site. Because current starting quarterback Drew Stanton has averaged 6.3 yards per attempt in his career, Ellington could be the recipient of regular check downs during the second half of the season.