Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is on record with how many touches he thinks running back Andre Ellington will see this season. The team's official website put forth a more-realistic-but-still-generous projection for him on Friday.
Darren Urban wrote it's a "no-brainer" that Ellington is the team's starting running back, and he guesses the explosive player will get 20-22 touches per game.
In 15 games as a rookie last season, Ellington touched the ball 157 times, which breaks down to a 10.5 touches-per-game average. Ellington still gained more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage and averaged 5.5 yards per carry.
Of course, Ellington is due for a much larger role this year following the retirement of Rashard Mendenhall. The low end of that estimate would leave Ellington with 320 touches over a full season. Only five players took on as much work last year -- LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch, and Chris Johnson.
But I don't think that's an outrageous guess, even if it is a fairly risky one since Ellington is a relatively small player. The Cardinals want to feature Ellington this season, and he has the skills to be a great running back. He will lose some goal-line carries to Stepfan Taylor and/or Jonathan Dwyer , but that's small potatoes compared to the yardage totals he could put up if his workload matches these expectations. Ellington is currently being drafted as a high-end RB2, but I think he's another player who will see his draft stock rise once he makes some big plays during the preseason.