Cardinals running back Beanie Wells is coming off the best season of his career.
He ran for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns in 14 games last season, finally fulfilling some of the promise Arizona saw when they made him a first-round pick in 2009. Wells did it all while battling a knee injury, which is where the rub comes in for the 2012 season.
Wells needed arthroscopic surgery in January, the second time in the last three years that he’s had an operation, and he hasn’t been able to get back on the field. At the time of the surgery, the expectation was that Wells wouldn’t miss any offseason work, but he’s not practicing now and he has no idea when he’s going to be able to get back onto the field. When asked by Darren Urban of the team’s website about his availability for next month’s minicamp, Wells had no firm answer.
“I am hopeful, but it’s offseason stuff,” Wells said. “Being ready for training camp is the most important thing.”
Being cautious with an important player who has been in the system for three years is certainly the sensible approach. Complicating the problem for the Cardinals is that their other running back is also out at present. Ryan Williams is coming off patella tendon surgery after a knee injury wiped out his entire 2011 season and he’s also on the path of trying to be ready for training camp.
If both are healthy, there’s no problem for the Cardinals in the backfield. If either guy has a setback, though, they may need to look for some help in the desert.