Despite the emergence of dynamic rookie running back Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is unwavering in his support for Rashard Mendenhall as his starter.
Although he has 51 fewer carries than Mendenhall, Ellington is the team's leading rusher with 388 yards in 54 attempts, an average of 7.2 yards per carry. Mendenhall, who has been bothered by a toe injury much of the season, has 323 yards in 105 carries for an average of 3.1 yards per attempt.
Ellington has an 80-yard touchdown run; Mendenhall's long gain for the season is 12 yards.
Fans, radio talk show hosts and newspaper columnists have zeroed in on Mendenhall of late, but Arians says he and the running back can take the heat.