Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall played in 30 snaps in Sunday's Week 5 win over the Carolina Panthers. This number is a bit low given that Mendenhall is the starter, but not unexpected given that he has struggled mightily this season. Mendenhall is slumming it out with a paltry 3.2 yards per carry average,
Mendenhall has 219 yards and two touchdowns off of 69 rushing attempts. He averages just 43.8 yards per game and also has two fumbles on the season. When he's not injured, he's under-performing on the field. So who took his carries in Sunday's game? Rookie Andre Ellington.
Ellington only had seven carries on the day, but he made the most of them, rushing for 52 yards for a 7.4 yards per-carry average. The most significant stat is the fact that Ellington was in on exactly 30 snaps as well, matching Mendenhall. Ellington also had four receptions for 31 yards on the day.
Fantasy Impact: Mendenhall has been disappointing for fantasy owners. They may want to scoop up Ellington if he happens to be available on the open market or at a reasonable price. It's likely he'll continue to take carries from Mendenhall and barring any huge rookie mistakes, he could even seize the job for his own by mid-season.