TEMPE, Ariz. – After Thursday’s practice, Arizona’s running backs were still figuring out what life would be like without Jonathan Dwyer.
By Friday morning, they had a clearer idea.
The Cardinals re-signed Jalen Parmele on Friday, adding a friendly face who will be responsible for filling Dwyer’s role in goal-line situations. At 5-foot-11 and 233-pounds, Parmele, who was released during final cuts, is the closest Arizona could get to replacing Dwyer’s size on such short notice.
“I’m well prepared,” said Parmele, who had 16 carries for 41 yards during the preseason with Arizona. “I made sure I was in shape and lifting hard and it’s something I like to do.
“One of my favorite things to do is run the ball, so I’m ready.”
Andre Ellington was listed as probable for Sunday, a sign that the soreness in his left foot has decreased. He’ll likely get more carries without a solid No. 2 option behind him. However, Arizona will need to replace Dwyer’s 23.5 snaps and 25.5 yards per game.
As they have through two games, the Cardinals will continue to use a running back by committee.
“The next guy steps in and does the thing he’s doing,” fullback Robert Hughes said. “That’s our whole mentality. That’s how we’ve always been.
“We trust and believe in everybody in the room. And no matter who’s out there taking the snaps, they’ll get the job done.”
Because of their size, Parmele and Hughes are the two best options to rotate in on passing downs. Hughes has only played 19 snaps in two games, but that’s bound to increase this week against San Francisco.
“Whatever they ask me to do, it’s just like always, ready to step up and play,” Hughes said. “Whatever B.A. (Cardinals coach Bruce Arians) throws in there, I’m going to be ready.”
Taylor might be used more between the 20s because he has the quickness to get through the tackles. He’s played all the running back positions during practice, he said.
But whoever is sent out as Arizona’s No. 2 will get more touches than they’re used to.
All but one of Dwyer’s 16 rushes this season have come on first or second down, as have all three of his pass targets, situations that best set up for Taylor.
“It’s what I’ve been working for this whole time at camp,” said Taylor, who has one carry for five yards this season. “I’ve always prepared myself to be in the No. 1 spot. It’s just next man up.”
Parmele was gracious for Arizona’s call despite the circumstances causing it. The offense hasn’t changed much between the last day of August and Friday, Parmele said, just a few minor wrinkles and some different terminology.
After Friday’s practice, Parmele said the playbook came back to him quickly.
“It hasn’t been too long since I’ve actually gotten contact, which is good,” Parmele said. “Now it’s just a matter of going out, playing physical and executing.”