Arizona Cardinals: The Running Back Dilemma


Dec 22, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall (28) rushes against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals can go in several different directions with their running game.  The other day I touched a bit on this subject as Cards head coach Bruce Arians made it sound like the Cards would be a running back by committee in 2014.  Based on quotes I’ve seen from him in the past day or two, it sure sounds like they still don’t know what exactly they want to do with who is on the roster.

Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor are the two givens on the roster of running backs going into next season.  Rashard Mendenhall is a free-agent who has not re-signed yet.  The Cards have given no indication which way they are leaning with him.  There is also Alfonso Smith still on the roster.  Then there is Ryan Williams.  Here is a guy I’ve spent a lot of time talking about and so have many of you.

Williams never saw the playing field in 2014.  He missed most of the preseason due to injury but came back and played sparingly in the third game and played a really great fourth game in Denver.  At the time Arians indicated he had done enough to make the team.  He did, however he spent the entire season inactive. Now, after it seemed it was a forgone conclusion he would be history after the season, now, who knows?

Arians told that Williams could still be a factor this season. In one breath he said the option will always be for them to release him if someone better came along but “he can play”.  I mean, just stop toying with him and make a decision.  I believe Williams can add depth to most football teams.  He certainly adds depth here in Arizona but Arizona refuses to use that depth, so let him go.  The only way I see him staying is if the Card are unable to find someone in free agency, re-sign Mendenhall, or draft another back.  In other words, I wouldn’t count on him being on the Cards roster in 2014.