The Arizona Cardinals should have their best possible backfield out there today against the St. Louis Rams, as both Andre Ellington and Carson Palmer are expected to play through their injuries. It is unclear how much Palmer will be hobbled, but the Cardinals starting quarterback once again confirmed that he will play; there are no doubts about his status this week.
Although Andre Ellington was also tentatively expected to play, his status was far less certain. We all thought he was going to play in last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but Ellington was promptly named an active for the Cardinals. This week, however, he should be able to play, because he returned to practice on Thursday and reportedly looked good at Friday’s practice.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reports that Andre Ellington is expected to play today, and this is good confirmation that we will likely see Ellington out there. It wouldn’t surprise me if he were named an inactive, but I think it’s safe to assume that he’ll make his return to the Cardinals lineup. One thing to watch for is how many touches Ellington gets, because they might want to limit him on the ground with Rashard Mendenhall in order to ease Ellington back. Bruce Arians and the Cardinals are always worried about the rookie RB’s health, which is part of the reason why they won’t name him the true No. 1 back. But with Palmer nursing an elbow injury, I wonder if the Cardinals are also more inclined to throw short passes to Ellington.