It's been a while since Arizona Cardinals fans have seen running back Beanie Wells carry the football.
Wells hasn't been on the field since suffering a turf toe injury in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The fourth-year running back was placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list, which would have him eligible to return November 25 when the Cardinals host the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium.
But the question remains. Will he?
"No doubt about it," Wells said Tuesday at the team's practice facility in Tempe. "No doubt."
Since Wells suffered his injury, the Cardinals also lost the services of Ryan Williams who sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in their loss to the Rams October 4. They've been forced to use the diminutive LaRod Stephens-Howling as their feature back in the interim. With Stephens-Howling carrying much of the load, short yardage situations have been hard for Arizona to convert. Evidence of this was in last Sunday's loss at Green Bay, where the Cardinals, trailing by 10 in the third quarter, couldn't pick up a third-and-one on the Packers' two-yard line. Instead they settled for a field goal.
Wells feels his presence could make a difference in those situations.
"It's real tough, it sucks. You know if I was in there, I feel like we could get some of those things going a little bit," he said. "Fortunately enough, I get to come back."
Wells is eligible to return to practice Wednesday for the Cardinals and is eager to get back on the field after six weeks of spectating.
"It's been definitely challenging just having to be out there and watch practice and do nothing," he said. "But it came quick, so I'm excited to be back on the field (tomorrow)."
Wells was slowed in training camp as he recovered from knee surgery, and didn't look to be one-hundred percent when he did get on the field. In 29 carries, he gained just 76 yards (2.6 per carry) before suffering the injury. He believes the time off has helped both injuries heal.
"My knee feels great, my toe's feeling good," Wells said. "It's just a matter with the toe of just taping it right. Today I had a lot of tape on there and I kind of went without tape and once I took the tape off, it felt a lot better.
"So I think the less restriction I've got with the toe, the better."