Sources: Cardinals’ Ellington could miss significant time with foot injury

Cardinals running back Andre Ellington reaggravated a foot injury that could sideline him for a significant amount of time, two sources confirmed.

Mark J. Rebilas/Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The latest hit to the Cardinals’ 2014 aspirations came when starting running back Andre Ellington reaggravated a foot injury that could sideline him for a significant amount of time, two sources confirmed to FOX Sports on Friday morning.

The injury was originally reported by FOX 910AM’s Mike Jurecki.

Ellington reaggravated an existing injury in practice Thursday and underwent an MRI afterward. He was listed on the team’s official injury report, which came out after coach Bruce Arians and players addressed the media. Ellington dno not practice Friday.

FOX’s Jay Glazer tweeted the injury is to a muscle that requires rest and unspecified time to heal.

Friday was reserved for the offensive and defensive coordinators to speak to the media and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin did not address Ellington’s status.

"That’s out of my pay scale; I don’t talk about injuries," he said. "Our general philosophy is this: next man up. Whoever is in there is in there. Who knows what’s going to happen? You’ll see who’s out there on Monday."

The Cardinals open the season Monday night against the San Diego Chargers.

Losing Ellington would be another big hit to a team that lost linebacker Karlos Dansby in free agency, linebacker Daryl Washington to a season-long suspension for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse and lost defensive tackle Darnell Dockett to a season-ending ACL tear during training camp.

The team will also likely be without free safety Tyrann Mathieu for at least the opener.

Ellington was expected to assume a much greater role than his breakout rookie season, when he amassed 1,023 combined yards receiving and rushing. The Cardinals envisioned using him more in space — even lining up at wide receiver. Ellington’s 5.53 yards per rush last season were the most in the NFL by any player with a minimum of 100 rushes.

Ellington had foot issues in college at Clemson; it is not known whether this is related. In 2010, he had surgery to repair a ligament tear and bone fracture. In 2012, he had ankle surgery to clean up scar tissue.

Jonathan Dwyer and Stepfan Taylor would be the first two backs up as possible replacements. Dwyer has started just six of 36 NFL games and has gained 971 yards on 230 carries, a 4.2-yard average. Taylor is in his second year, having been drafted the same year as Ellington out of Stanford. Robert Hughes could also be in line for more touches.

"Its unfortunate that our brother is injured right now but we know he’ll be back. We don’t know when but we know everything will be alright with him," Dwyer said. "I don’t think it changes too much. We’re all capable of doing everything. We’re all every-down backs and we’ll be ready for the challenge."

Despite Dwyer’s (and Taylor’s similar) comments, the rushing offense will change dramatically without Ellington. Neither of his replacements has his skill-sets so the Cardinals will have to do some rapid reshuffling.

"These are NFL players," Goodwin said. "They’d better be ready to play no matter what. Everybody has qualities and things they can do and we’ll take advantage of that."

Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter