As more and more teams that don’t have franchise quarterbacks are embracing the combination of stout defense and a potent running game, one of the teams applying that approach has seen its running game decimated by injury.
The Cardinals have lost Beanie Wells to a turf toe and Ryan Williams to shoulder surgery. Though Wells has been placed on the new IR-light list that allows him to return later in the year, they need help sooner than later.
And with LaRod Stephens-Howling, who has 12 carries for one (yes, one) yard this season as the new top option, the Cardinals should explore other possibilities.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt says the team will keep all options open. During Tuesday’s PFT Live, I threw out a bunch of possibilities, focusing on two teams that go four deep at the position (the Pats and the Saints). During Tuesday’s Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network, I reiterated a more specific suggestion.
Trade for Chris Johnson.
The Titans won’t be keeping Johnson beyond 2012, not with a $10 million salary due next year, $9 million of which becomes fully guaranteed the week after the next Super Bowl. And it’s not as if the Titans will be turning things around; as Johnson recently said himself, they’re simply not a good team.
So move him, and get value. With the Cardinals a surprising 4-1 and in need of a kick in the butt on offense, why not pick up a guy who would possibly benefit from a change of scenery?
Sure, it would be an 11-game rental. It still would be worth it, especially if the Titans are willing to be realistic about their expectations for a guy who is averaging less than three yards per carry.
For the Cardinals, that’s a welcome upgrade from a guy who’s averaging less than 0.1 yards per carry.