Bruce Arians: Rashard Mendenhall “can’t play that way”

AP

The Cardinals improved to 2-2 on the season by scoring the final 13 points in a 13-10 victory over the Buccaneers in Tampa, but one player didn’t have much reason to celebrate.

Running back Rashard Mendenhall dropped a pass, lost a fumble and ran out of bounds late in the game as the Cardinals were trying to milk time off the clock before kicking the winning field goal. Even though he was saved by a ruling that he fumbled on his way out of bounds, which meant the Bucs had to use a timeout, coach Bruce Arians was unhappy with the back and suggested after the game that Mendenhall’s limited practice schedule was too blame.

“Rashard had a very tough day and he can’t play that way,” Arians said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “He can’t run out of bounds. He’s a veteran. And to run out of bounds at the end of the game, that was probably the worst mistake he made all day. We need to practice him a little bit harder. I think we’ve been too easy on him in practice because of his injuries, and we need to hone him up more because he’s not gaining anything.”

Mendenhall ran for 21 yards on 12 carries, his second straight poor outing after a couple of decent games to start the season. Andre Ellington had one 25-yard run and three other carries for four yards, but those numbers could be going up if Arians’ confidence in Mendenhall took a serious hit on Sunday.