Arizona Cardinals History: Which running back had the most rushing yards in a single game?

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The Arizona Cardinals have had several outstanding running backs in their 100-plus-year history. But who had the highest number of rushing yards in one game?

The Arizona Cardinals had the privilege of seeing the game’s greatest running backs don a cardinal and white uniform. Names like Emmitt Smith, Edgerrin James, and Adrian Peterson all saw time in the desert, but they were either past, or soon to be past their respective primes. 

Therefore, you probably don’t find it surprising that they never came close to setting the record. But a familiar name did set the record in November of 2011, and that was Beanie Wells, who racked up 228 yards on the ground in a Week 11 in a 23-20 win over the St. Louis Rams

The Cardinals enjoyed a memorable year, and they capped it off winning seven of their last nine games following a 1-6 start. It was a remarkable turnaround, and Wells had a season to remember. 

Beanie Wells was part of a memorable Arizona Cardinals team in 2011

Wells didn’t have a long career, but his 2011 season with the Arizona Cardinals gave fans a lot of hope. He rushed for 1,047 yards on 245 carries, and racked up 10 rushing touchdowns, showing signs that he could be the featured back in the desert. 

But this was not to be. Wells played in eight games the following season, rushing for just 234 yards on 88 carries, though he scored five touchdowns in that span. Though after some tension between Wells and the organization, the Cards released him in March 2013, and he never suited up for an NFL game after that. 

After Wells flamed out in Arizona, the Cardinals didn’t need to wait too long before they found another back in David Johnson, who came to the team in 2015. Johnson also had some memorable moments with Arizona, including a remarkable outing in December 2015, when he ran for 187 yards on 29 attempts.  

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(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference and Stat Muse)