Andre Ellington didn't have an overwhelming statistical night on Saturday against the Raiders, but did show glimpses of the player who once upon a time was the starting running back for the Cardinals.
Ellington finished with 20 rushing yards on seven carries, added four catches for 31 yards, and, according to Pro Football Focus, did not make any mistakes in pass protection. PFF gave him a grade of 77.1 for his work, which was one of the higher marks on the team.
Ellington's most notable run was a 15-yarder in which he had nice blocking, and he also had a 13-yard reception.
"He's healthy for the first time in two years," coach Bruce Arians said. "He showed it on two or three runs (Saturday) and a couple of passes."
Ellington told me earlier in training camp that the string of injuries had affected him not just physically, but mentally. He would look for easy outs near the end of runs to avoid big hits, but now feels comfortable again fighting for extra yardage.
He will need to show that consistently with a roster spot that is still in flux. Ellington is fourth on the depth chart at running back, behind David Johnson, Chris Johnson and Kerwynn Williams.
The injury to T.J. Logan increases his chances of making the team, but Ellington still faces competition from Elijhaa Penny for what could be the final running back spot. Penny had 14 carries for 54 yards against Oakland and does more on special teams.
This is a pivotal training camp in Ellington's career. More games like Saturday would help his case to remain with the only NFL team he has ever known.
"I know there are still a lot of Ellington fans out there and I want to excite them," Ellington said earlier in camp. "Make a play here or there. Show them I've still got a little juice in the tank."