GLENDALE, Ariz. – Erring on the side of caution, the Arizona Cardinals will not dress Andre Ellington, choosing to give their starting running back another week to heal up from a knee injury.
He’s listed among the inactives and therefore unavailable today when the Cardinals host the St. Louis Rams in an NFC West division clash at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Ellington suffered a sprained posterial cruciate ligament in his right knee in the fourth quarter of the season opener against New Orleans.
At the time, he was expected to miss two-to-three weeks.
Sunday marks three weeks.
And though Ellington was limited each day in practice, the 26-year-old is still not quite 100 percent.
“I got better each day. Still not right where I want to be, but hopefully I’ll feel good on game day and I’ll be able to get out there,” he said Friday, before adding, “I’m going to be smart about it. I prepared with the team and the offense as if I was playing.”
Even if Ellington did return against the Rams, head coach Bruce Arians made it clear Chris Johnson would remain the starter.
“Andre is not full speed enough to be a starter,” Arians said.
Plus, Johnson is coming off his best performance yet in a Cardinals uniform, carrying the ball 22 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the 47-7 win over San Francisco.
It was his 37th career 100-yard effort.
Johnson leads the Cardinals with 219 yards rushing.
Joining Ellington on the inactive list are quarterback Matt Barkley, wide receiver J.J. Nelson, linebacker Shaq Riddick, guard Ted Larsen, tackle D.J. Humphries and nose tackle Xavier Williams.
Nelson remains sidelined by a shoulder injury.
For the Rams, wide receiver Kenny Britt (shoulder) and linebacker James Laurinaitis (not-injury related) are active despite missing practice time earlier in the week.
Not playing for St. Louis are safety Maurice Alexander (groin) and defensive end Eugene Sims (knee). They are among the inactives as are quarterback Sean Mannion, running back Chase Reynolds, tackle Darrell Williams and tackle Andrew Donnal.
“Any division game at home is of the utmost importance,” Arians said. “It’s the next game. It doesn’t have any more or less importance other than it is a division game at home, and we definitely want to win all of our ballgames at home.”
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