TEMPE, Ariz. -- When a team has a running back like David Johnson, it’s easy to forget about those behind him on the depth chart.
And for the Arizona Cardinals, there aren’t many.
The Cardinals are preparing to start their offseason workouts next week with just four running backs, and one of whom, Andre Ellington, is expected to spend more time at wide receiver in 2017 than at running back. But coach Bruce Arians doesn’t have any complaints about how his running-backs room has shaped up thus far during the offseason.
“I’m fine right now,” Arians said.
Backing up Johnson -- who ran for 1,239 yards and had another 879 receiving in 2016, his second NFL season -- as of now will be Kerwynn Williams and Elijhaa Penny, both of whom drew praise from Arians.
“I think Kerwynn has proven every time he plays he gets 100 yards,” Arians said. “Everybody says he’s too small. He just gets 100 yards every time he steps out there. That Wildcat stuff ... not one of those plays was blocked right. He just made somebody miss and went and got 15-20 yards. That’s his ability.
“He’s a really good little pass-blocker. He ain’t afraid to stick it in there.”
Williams finished last season with 157 yards and two touchdowns, all coming on 18 runs in three games, but 83 of those yards and one touchdown came on four Wildcat runs.
Penny spent last season -- his first out of Idaho -- on the practice squad, but Arians said Penny learned from the season on the sideline.
“I think Elijhaa Penny has got a lot of talent,” Arians said. “He’s learned what it’s like to be an NFL player now. We’ll slim him down. He’s 235 [pounds]. That might be a little too high for him. He’s got really light feet and great hands, if we can make him a little more shifty and then we’ll just see what goes on from there.”
Arians also offered up another option to support Johnson.
Ellington, who spent his first four NFL seasons as a running back, will be used more in the passing game in 2017, Arians said, nevertheless leaving the door open for Ellington to be used as a running back if needed.
“We can always put Andre back,” Arians said.