The Cardinals have officially ended the season of starting running back Andre Ellington, placing him on the injured reserve list due to hernia surgery, tweets Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. Using the newly-opened roster spot, the team signed veteran free agent safety Chris Clemons.
Clemons signed a two-year deal with Houston in the offseason that contained $450K in guaranteed money, but was cut by the Texans at the end of the preseason. Despite auditions with the Bills, Bengals, Falcons, and Lions since then, the 29-year-old didn’t find a new home until now. Clemons had spent the first five seasons of his career with the Dolphins, starting 48 games, racking up 207 tackles and four interceptions. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded Clemons as the 19th-best safety in the league last season.
As for Ellington, he’ll return to the Cardinals in 2015, and it will be interesting to see how his role in the offense is affected by his performance this season. After being deployed a change-of-place back in his rookie season, Ellington was leaned on heavily as the club’s feature back this year, and saw his yards per carry average dip from 5.5 to 3.3. In his absence, Kerwynn Williams and Stepfan Taylor figure to carry the bulk of the load out of the backfield.
In addition to signing Clemons and placing Ellington on IR, the Cardinals also added a couple players to their practice squad, signing wide receiver Travis Harvey and guard John Fullington to the unit, according to Urban. By our count, the Cards previously had nine players on their taxi squad, so we’ll have to wait for word on which player is being removed or signing elsewhere.