Cardinals looking healthy coming out of bye week

Cardinals looking healthy coming out of bye week
November 4, 2013, 6:54 pm
Share This Post

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) After a breakthrough performance in Week 8, Andre Ellington might not have been so ready for his team's bye week.

Ellington rushed for 154 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown, on 15 carries as the starting running back for the Arizona Cardinals against the Atlanta Falcons two Sundays ago. Then the Cardinals had their bye, which allowed incumbent starter Rashard Mendenhall to heal up from a toe injury.

Come Monday when the Cardinals reconvened from the break, Ellington was back on the practice field. So was Mendenhall.

''Rashard looked very, very good today,'' Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, ''and it was nice to see him running like that again.''

Mendenhall was running and stretching on the side during the portion of Cardinals practice open to the media. Arians indicated that if healthy, Mendenhall would get the most touches against Houston this Sunday at home.

''You want to have that one-two punch,'' Arians said. ''Andre's kind of got his role cut out. We'd like to, as I said last week, hopefully get him into space a couple of more times in the ball game.''

The Cardinals go into the Houston game at 4-4 and will face a Texans team that has lost six straight. Arizona came out of the bye without much in the way of major injuries to players.

''It looked like we had a nice break. The guys looked fresh, and very good bonus day for us,'' Arians said.

The second part of the season will begin with the Cardinals still in playoff contention.

''That's why you play the game,'' Arians said. ''We take a short-term look at long goals and then get back to the process of making sure we win this Sunday and forget about adding things up. We'll add them up in late December.''

One area the team would like to improve is on third-down conversions. Arizona is second-to-last in the NFL at 31.6 percent. Arians blamed the situation on a conglomeration of overthrows, dropped passes, receivers running wrong routes, sacks and pressure on the quarterback.

''It would've been a lot easier had I been able to put my finger on one or two things and say, `OK, this is what it is to fix,''' Arians said. ''I don't really care who gets the ball as long as we're getting yards and scoring points.''

The Cardinals got a chance to see the Texans on the national broadcast Sunday night. Defensive end Calais Campbell came away impressed with young Case Keenum, now the starting quarterback for Houston.

''He looked like a superstar. He looked like a guy that can do a lot of damage in this league,'' Campbell said. ''Definitely going to have our hands full trying to stop him.''

Texans - Team News
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 19-of-35 passes for 227 yards, one touchdown, and zero... Fitzpatrick was pretty bad for most of the day, begging to be picked off, but the Texans rode Arian Foster's legs to victory. Fitzpatrick's lone touchdown went to Foster on...
Oct 26 3:45PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-16, Week 8... Foster managed just 36 yards on his first 10 carries, but broke a 34-yard touchdown and had no trouble finding holes in the Tennessee defense from there on. Foster caught a...
Oct 26 3:21PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is active for Week 8 against the Titans. Clowney will play on a "pitch count," likely in pass-rushing and third-down situations. Good luck with Clowney and J.J. Watt, Zach Mettenberger. Inactive for the...
Oct 26 10:34AM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is likely to play against the Titans, but will be on a... "I thought what he did what he had to do this week," coach Bill O’Brien said. "I think he’s got a good shot to play on Sunday." Clowney has been...
Oct 25 9:13AM Read More

More Team Talk