Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Wells might not be back in 2013 with Arizona.
The Arizona Cardinals rushing attack limped along in 2012. They finished dead last in the league, gaining just 75.2 yards per game. For the fourth time in the last decade, Arizona has finished last in rushing. Besides the fact Arizona doesn't have a quarterback with an arm to distract from the problem, it's a chronic issue that has plagued the Cardinals for years.
But who will the starting running back be?
Beanie Wells said he wanted out of Arizona and was auditioning for the other 31 teams in the league, according to CBS Sports.com. He said that after the Chicago game and found himself getting benched for the finale against San Francisco.
After the game against San Francisco, Wells said he would like to be back in Arizona since he and his family live here, according to azcentral.com. Wells may have changed field on his stance but it doesn't change the fact he averaged 2.7 yards per carry on his 84 carries this season. Yes, Wells hit the end zone five times this season but he isn't putting up the kind of numbers that a lead running back should put up.
Wells has a club option for 2013 and it's uncertain if the Cardinals will pick him up.
If he doesn't take it, the lead job might fall to LaRod Stephens-Howling. The man nicknamed "Hyphen" was the leading rusher for the team with 357 yards and four touchdowns. Given his small size, it's hard to say if Stephens-Howling would be able to withstand the punishment of a full season of bashing between the tackles.
Stephens-Howling is a free agent and there's too much uncertainty to determine what his fate might be.
The other running back to keep in mind is Ryan Williams. Williams, a second round pick out of Virginia Tech in 2011, has been horribly snake-bit with injuries. He ruptured his patella tendon in the preseason in 2011 and missed the season. This year he injured his shoulder in the loss at St. Louis and went on IR after just five games.
Williams has the talent to have an impact at the running back spot but does he have the health?
William Powell had a couple okay games this season and the rest of the running backs are players with two years of experience so it's hard to say how they will turn out.
Of course, the answer could be none of the above depending on the coaching and GM situations.