Rashard Mendenhall was brought on board with the Arizona Cardinals this past offseason to be their feature back. After a less than ideal end to his tenure in Pittsburgh, fans were hoping that the change of scenery would do him wonders. Thus far, that hasn’t been the case. Through four games, Mendenhall has only amassed 176 yards rushing and found the end zone on one occasion.
The Cardinals were able to escape Tampa Bay with a victory on Sunday to crawl to .500 on the season, but it didn’t come without more poor play from Mendenhall. The running back failed to hit the 30-yard mark and went out of bounds late in the contest to stop the clock. It’s a move that didn’t sit well with Bruce Arians.
Here’s what the head coach had to say about his RB following the contest:
“Rashard had a very tough day, and he can’t play that way. He can’t run out of bounds. He’s a veteran. And to run out of bounds at the end of the game, that was probably the worst mistake he made all day. We need to practice him a little bit harder. I think we’ve been too easy on him in practice because of his injuries, and we need to hone him up more because he’s not gaining anything.”
It’s with those harsh comments that chatter of Mendenhall losing his job is starting to take place. Through four weeks, he’s clearly not getting the job done. In his last two games, he’s only compiled 50 yards rushing and he’s fumbled twice.
At this point, he’s still going to be the man in the Arizona backfield, but his leash is getting shorter and shorter. Fans are hoping that Arians’ comments will serve as a wake up call. If Mendenhall’s current trends continue, there’s no doubt in my mind that Arizona will look to Alfonso Smith for a spark.