Report: Cardinals Eye Jay Ajayi, Spencer Ware with David Johnson Injured

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIOctober 21, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Jay Ajayi of the Eagles walks around the pitch with crutches after an injury during the NFL International Series match between Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on October 28, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Alex Pantling/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals are looking outside of the building for support in the backfield as starting running back David Johnson deals with a persistent ankle injury. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that the Cardinals will host free-agent running backs Jay Ajayi and Spencer Ware for workouts Tuesday.

Ajayi and Ware each last appeared in an NFL game during the 2018 season. 

Both players also have extensive injury histories. 

Ajayi's 2018 campaign ended after four games due to a torn ACL. Prior to that, though, he had been on the injury report with a foot injury. The 26-year-old also played with a fractured back. Ajayi entered free agency after the season and has been cleared by doctors to play since late July. 

Since entering the NFL in 2015 with the Miami Dolphins, Ajayi has rushed for 2,516 yards and 13 touchdowns across 42 games (23 starts).

Ware signed with the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason after playing for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2015-18, though he missed all of 2017 with a knee injury. His time with the Colts was brief, as he underwent ankle surgery in early August that ended his season before it began.

Across 40 games (18 starts) since 2013, Ware has rushed for 1,580 yards and 11 touchdowns. The 27-year-old's most productive year came in 2016, when he rushed for 921 yards and three touchdowns and caught 33 balls for 447 yards and two scores.

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The Cardinals must be concerned about Johnson's status moving forward. The 27-year-old Northern Iowa product was active for Arizona's 27-21 win over the New York Giants on Sunday, but head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he'd only use Johnson in "need-based" situations.

It turned out Arizona didn't need Johnson against the Giants. He only carried the ball once for two yards on the second snap from scrimmage before Chase Edmonds took over and notched 126 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.

Edmonds' performance is encouraging for Arizona moving forward, and it feels as though testing out veterans Ajayi and Ware could be more of an insurance policy given third-stringer D.J. Foster's lack of experience.

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