Andre Ellington plays through injury, contributes to Arizona Cardinals’ win
Glendale, Ariz. — His status was a topic of conversation for much of the last week, but Monday night against the Chargers Andre Ellington not only suited up for the Cardinals, but played an important role in the team’s 18-17 victory.
The second-year pro finished with a team-best 53 yards rushing on 13 carries, and also added 27 yards on five receptions. His longest run of the night, 18 yards, came on the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He also lost one fumble.
After the game Ellington, who was called a “game-time decision” by head coach Bruce Arians over the weekend, said the plan all along was for him to play.
“Yeah, I did,” he said when asked if he had a good idea he’d be ready to go Monday night. “We kind of kept it a secret because we weren’t too sure. But I think getting that rest on it helped me out a lot. I was able to go out there and do some things that I wanted to do.”
Ellington said there was some initial concern the injury would keep him out for a while, but after consulting with some doctors it was determined he could play through it. However, he said he knew for sure he’d suit up Monday after going through warmups prior to the game.
After the game, Arians said he saw enough out of Ellington during Saturday’s practice to believe he’d be ready to go by kickoff, and the former Clemson Tiger must have been feeling pretty good as he by far led the team in carries while also seeing the second-most targets in the passing game.
All offseason there was talk of Ellington being a focal point of the offense, and Monday night he was exactly that.
The 25-year-old admitted he was a little limited by the injury, saying he wasn’t full speed and there was some difficulty going left to right, but was in good enough help to contribute.
As for how much of an issue the left foot injury — which he says is a problem with some tendons and has left him a little sore — will be going forward, Ellington was not sure.
“I mean it’s kind of a day-to-day thing,” he said. “I’m not well aware of how long I’ll be out or anything like that. I mean, just getting some rest on it, and I’ll be good to go for next week.”
The way Ellington sees it, chances are he’s not going to feel 100 percent too often, so he won’t look to sit out just because he is dealing with a little pain.
“This game, you’ll never play pain-free, that’s one thing I know,” he said. “So I’m willing to play through any pain.”