Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall struggled on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He only managed 21 yards, with a longest rush of six yards. This was after carrying the ball 12 times, with an average of 1.8 yards per carry. He had no touchdowns on the day.
Coming into the game, Mendenhall was dealing with a toe injury and was listed as probable on the team's official injury report Friday. Mendenhall did not participate in full in practice until said Friday, so he was definitely a little rusty. He has been on the injury report every week this season. His 21 yards is down from Week 3, but only by a narrow margin as he only managed 29 yards in that game.
He was out-gained by Andre Ellington, a rookie, who carried the ball four times for 29 yards. Mendenhall did manage 13 yards via three receptions, as well. Arizona knew the risks in bringing Mendenhall in as their starter -- he has a significant injury history. But he's played in every game thus far and all that matters is that he's underperformed, whether it be because of injury or otherwise.
Fantasy Impact: The Cardinals somehow do not have the worst rushing offense in the NFL, but they're close at No. 25. Mendenhall isn't a smart start in fantasy football going forward and Ellington doesn't seem like he's worth a flyer in the possible event that he takes over full time. Their running back situation is a mess right now and fantasy owners should avoid them or do whatever they can to remove any dependencies they already have on the Cardinals' running backs.