Neither of the two Cardinals running backs in the mix for carries this season will play in the team’s preseason opener.
Beanie Wells hasn’t practiced yet, so there was never any chance that he would be in the game against the Saints in Canton on Sunday. Ryan Williams has been practicing, but he’s coming off a ruptured patella tendon and the team isn’t ready to put him on the field for a game just yet.
“I’m not going to play, maybe catch the next one. I’m in no rush to get back on the knee. I’m just chilling,” Williams said, via the Arizona Republic. “Rehab is going well. It’s just not worth it to risk it in a game that doesn’t mean that much.”
It will mean even less with the Cardinals rolling into town without Wells, Williams and Javarris James, who is out with an abductor muscle injury. That’s not a knock on the decision, which is the wisest course of action given Williams’ injury history and the lack of practice time leading up to this game. That leaves scatback LaRod Stephens-Howling, recently signed Thomas Clayton and special teamer Anthony Sherman as the backs with experience and it means that we’re not going to get even a hint of how the Cardinals running game will look this season.
Wells is currently slated to start practicing next week with hopes of playing in the team’s third preseason game. Until both he and Williams get on the field and show what kind of shape they’re in, though, it will be hard to feel much confidence in that part of the Cardinals offense.