Arizona Cardinals’ rookie RB Andre Ellington grateful for opportunity

Oct 11, 2013, 10:00 PM | Updated: 10:00 pm

Rookie running back Andre Ellington has seen his role on the Arizona Cardinals expand in recent weeks, and he’s grateful for the opportunity so early in his career.

“I’m very excited,” Ellington said. “I’m just excited to be in the NFL, it’s a dream come true.”

Ellington was a sixth round pick out of Clemson and had to fight his way out of a crowded running back corps during training camp. Even after he made the regular season squad, Ellington didn’t get a carry until their second game. He has since established himself as a reliable option out of the backfield as both a rusher and pass-catcher.

The Cardinals have also paired him with Rashard Mendenhall, and the two backs have developed a partnership that might finally give the team the running attack it’s been searching for.

“He’s more of the pounder,” Ellington said. “I’m more of the guy that can come in there and change up the place a little bit. So far, we’re working good hand-in-hand so hopefully we can keep that going.”

Some have been surprised by Ellington’s early success, and that includes the running back, who believed he could perform but didn’t think he would get the chance to show it so quickly.

“I was always expecting to go out and play, because I know what I’m capable of,” Ellington explained. “It just came to me faster than I thought I would. I guess that goes back to all of the hard work I put in in the offseason.”

Ellington is coming off an impressive performance in Arizona’s defeat of the Carolina Panthers, racking up 83 total yards. That will be tough to repeat this Sunday as he goes up against the vaunted San Francisco 49ers’ defense. However, Ellington welcomes the opportunity and looks at it as just another game.

“I just take on that challenge and try to help our team win football games,” Ellington said.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
1 day ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
2 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury takes notes as he watches players taking part in drill...
Tyler Drake

Looming questions for the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp

There are quite a few questions marks surrounding the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp this offseason.
2 days ago
(Twitter photo/New England Patriots)...
Wills Rice

New England Patriots bring back red uniforms in Back to the Future spoof

The New England Patriots announced the team is bringing back their old-school red uniform and helmet combo for the 2022 season.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals’ rookie RB Andre Ellington grateful for opportunity