The Cardinals were thin at running back Sunday against the Seahawks.
LaRod Stephens-Howling was out for a second straight week because of a hand injury, while the Cardinals were also without the services of starter Beanie Wells, who was pulled before the game thanks to hamstring tightness.
This obviously hurt the Cardinals since the two remaining running backs were Chester Taylor and Alfonso Smith.
Taylor had been with the team for less than a month and Smith was seeing his first extended action in a regular season game.
The tandem rushed for 74 yards and no touchdowns and Smith also had three separate chances to convert on third and one, failing each time.
So the return of Wells and Stephens-Howling will be a welcome sight, one head coach Ken Whisenhunt believes the team will see this Sunday against the Giants.
“As far as Beanie and LaRod I think we have a chance of getting both of those guys back for the game this week,” Whisenhunt said. “We’ll see how that progresses in practice this week.”
Smith was the better of the two running backs, rushing for 54 of the team’s 74 yards. That total impressed the head coach.
“When you’re missing a number of guys the next guys have to step up,” Whisenhunt said. “I thought Alfonso ran hard [Sunday], that was his first real action in an NFL game and I think if he has to do that again he’ll be even better.”
While Whisenhunt was pleased, Smith had different thoughts about his performance.
“I’m going to grade it as an F,” Smith said about his play. “I didn’t do enough to help the team win so I’m going to be my worst critic and say I need to do better.”
Even though Smith wasn’t happy with his performance, playing in the game gave him more confidence in his abilities.
“I feel that throughout the game that my confidence picked up,” Smith said. “Now I know that I can go in there and do what they ask of me and I’m pretty confident in the plays, play calls and in my abilities.”