The leading rusher for the Arizona Cardinals last year, Andre Ellington appears to be doubtful for the team’s opener this season. The running back carried for more than 600 yards (though only three touchdowns) in 2013 and was poised for a breakout season this fall.
According to CBS Sports, Ellington is listed on the injury report with a “foot issue,” and the team doesn’t seem to know what exactly is wrong with their young rusher. The report says he is going to undergo an MRI and is expected to miss “significant time,” putting a damper in the sleeper predictions of the Cardinals. Coming into just his sophomore season, the back was expected to lead the charge for a resurgent franchise that finally posted a record over.500 last year, even though they missed they missed the playoffs.
While Andre Ellington’s injury is a blow to his actual team, he could be an even bigger blow to Fantasy Football owners who were looking to him to be a late round sleeper who could lead them to league championships. Even if he isn’t out for a prolonged period of time, he’s almost assuredly going to miss Sunday’s game, and that leaves owners hurrying to find a replacement off the waiver wire.
One player who might be available in deeper leagues is New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram. The reason he might still be available is he’s more of a supersub for the club these days. Still, the former Alabama Crimson Tide star has a knack for finding the end zone, and had a pretty solid pre-season. If you need a runningback to replace Andre Ellington, you could certainly do worse than Ingram.
Toby Gerhart may not be available on the waiver wire, but he could probably be had in a trade for relatively cheap. Deeper leagues might still have him as a free agent since news hasn’t gotten to everyone he’s now the starter in Jacksonville. This is the first time the former Stanford Cardinal has really been the featured back for an entire season when it wasn’t an accident, and he might be able to use the opportunity to shine.
Who you choose to replace Andre Ellington really depends on how long you think he’s going to be out. If you decide to gamble on him missing just a week or two, Ingram is the better bet because you won’t have to give up as much. If you think Andre Ellington is going to miss enough time to cripple your lineup, making a move for Gerhart makes more sense.