The Arizona Cardinals will be without RB Beanie Wells for at least 7 games as a result of a severe turf toe injury sustained in the 27-6 success over Philadelphia Eagles.
The team placed Wells on the NFL’s new injury reserve/designated for return list. That allows him to return to practice November 7 and to play in the Arizona Cardinals’ home game against the St. Louis Rams on November 25.
QB Kevin Kolb called it ”a big loss.”
The injury will leave the majority of the running game load on 2nd-year pro Ryan Williams, who had been splitting time with Wells. Williams rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries against Philadelphia Eagles.
Williams said the performance helped him get over his critical fumble the previous week at New England, which gave the Patriots a chance at the game-winning field goal, an attempt that missed.
”When times like his, when your number is called, you’re intended to step up to the plate,” Williams related. ”… There’s no pressure, man, this is something I have wished to do for the longest and that’s play a lot of footbal. I am getting the chance so I should do something with it.”
Kolb said the team is assured in Williams’ ability to step into a larger role.
In a consistent move, the Cardinals re-signed RB Alfonso Smith, a backup for Arizona last season who was released in the team’s last roster cuts on Aug. 31. The other running backs on the Arizona roster are LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell.
Stephens-Howling, however, is used primarily in specific scenarios that maximize his quickness and minimize the impact of his 5-foot-7 height. Betting lines
Powell, who won a spot on the roster with his play in the preseason, was inactive the first 3 games.
While Wells will be eligible to play the final 6 games of the season, there’s no guarantee he will be healthy enough to do that.
”With the type of injury he has, we expect 6 to 8 weeks at least before he’ll be in a position to go,” Whisenhunt said after practice, ‘’so if you look at where we continue to have games left, it will be nice to have him back at that point.”
Wells was Arizona’s 1st-round draft pick, the 31st selection overall, out of Ohio State in 2009. He is coming off his best season, when he rushed for 1,047 yards despite a sore knee that bothered him the most of the season and kept him out of the finale against Seahawks. He rushed for a franchise-record 225 yards at St. Louis last November 27.
This season, he was off to a slow start, gaining just 76 yards on 29 carries, an average of 2.6 yards per attempt.
At 6-foot-2 and 229 pounds, Wells’ power running style complemented the more shifty approach of the 5-9, 207-pound Williams. Powell is just 5-9 and 207 pounds, possibly a reason the team re-signed the 6-1, 207-pound Smith, who played in 15 games last season, rushing for 102 yards on 30 carries and a touchdown. He also caught 3 passes for 21 yards and had 5 special teams’ tackles.