Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells was able to battle through a right-knee injury and gain 1,047 yards this season, but Coach Ken Whisenhunt decided to sit him out the last game of the season on Sunday.
However, the coach said Wells got a lot out of his 2011 season.
"It's a good tribute to Beanie; it was something he needed to do for himself and also for a lot of people who questioned his toughness," Whisenhunt said. "And I want to make sure that [Sunday] people understand that was no reflection on Beanie. That was purely my decision. He wanted to play."
Wells was inactive against the Seattle Seahawks (7-9) after close surveillance during practice, with Whisenhunt deciding the best option was to take care of the knee.
"I know it was tough for him not to play for what he did through this year," Whisenhunt said.
Wells had his best season as a pro despite only playing in 14 games.
Whisenhunt said the doctors will discuss with Wells the best method to heal his leg, whether it be with surgery or rehab, but the coaching staff will make sure he is in full health to play next season.
"I know the next time that we get Beanie on the football field, he'll be a heck of a lot more healthy than he was [Sunday] and even the last five or six games," Whisenhunt said.