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Arizona Sportspage


August 25, 2009 7:11 AM

COMMENTARY: Wells May Have To Wait

Here's what we know about Chris "Beanie" Wells so far.

Nothing.

He is the Arizona Cardinals' first-round pick (31st overall) out of (The) Ohio State University. The Cardinals drafted Wells in hopes that he would win the starting job and give their running game a boost. So far that hasn't happened. Wells hasn't been a star. He hasn't been a bust, either. What he has been is injured.

It's the knock he had coming out of college. Can't stay healthy. Can't play an entire season. Always banged up. The injury bug has been bothersome and reluctant to stay away as Wells suffered a sprained ankle in the first workout of training camp.

Twenty-four days later, Wells is still struggling with his ankle. He did make strides toward a return Monday. Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Wells looked good. He was fast, strong and seemingly not bothered by his bothersome ankle.

Wells is expected to make his debut against the Packers Friday at University of Phoenix Stadium.

But is it too late?

Probably.

Today the race for the starting running back job should be declared over. Finished. Complete. No more. Done. If you're Italian, this competition is completare. Wells has something to prove to the coaching staff. Right now he's the beautiful woman who stands her date up three times and one morning shows up on the door step saying words like "I can explain," saying names like "Baby" and singing Biggie songs. Give me one more chance.

Sometimes in life, you have to prove to people you can be depended on. Instead of being a question, you have to be the answer. Wells has to prove himself capable of being trusted and this is going to take some time. While playing with the Buckeyes, injuries were not a threat to his playing time. Wells was easily the most talented running back on the roster. With a strong preseason showing running back Tim Hightower has given the Cardinals a great option. Over the first two games of the preseason, Hightower has averaged over four yards per a carry. He's running hard and feeling more comfortable in the backfield.

Hightower has won this job by the margin of a Usain Bolt race in the 200-meter dash.

Arizona didn't draft Wells to be a backup. Their intent was for him to claim the starting job. They'll have to wait for that to happen. Sometimes things happen by no fault of our own. Maybe it's just fate. Maybe it's a mistake. Maybe his injury and Hightower's effective play in the backfield is a blessing in disguise.

Perhaps this gives the Cardinals an opportunity to ease Wells into the fold. What he needs right now is more time. And his time, at this moment, is not now.

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