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Ryan Williams Joins Beanie Wells on IR. Who Might the Cardinals Trade For at Running Back?

Ryan Williams is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, marking the second straight year that he will end up on the IR. Beanie Wells also went on IR last week, though he is designated as eligible to return with his toe injury by the end of November. LaRod Stephens-Howling, the little scat back, has also been out injured. The team will be down to some combination of William Powell and Alphonso Smith.

Ordinarily, a team might try to get through it, but a couple of factors make this appealing for a trade. First, the deadline isn’t here yet, and has been moved back even further. Second, the running back position is one that a team could make an instant move and bring someone in. Third, the Cardinals are still 4-1, and are built around their defense. If they hope to contend, they will need some semblance of a running game in games.

The good news is that there are teams that might–or at least should–be open for a trade.

Let’s go through some of the candidates:

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina. This is not likely given his contract situation, so the Cardinals should not be eager to give much at all up. However, Carolina is off to a 1-4 start and it’s pretty obvious that the decision to pay Williams was unnecessary and a mistake by GM Marty Hurney. Carolina would still have Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. From the Panthers perspective, they should be strongly considering a trade if anyone is interested. Maybe Arizona would be.

Mike Goodson, Oakland. Williams younger former teammate, Goodson, is now in Oakland as a backup to Darren McFadden, along with Taiwan Jones. The Raiders need draft picks after trading many away, and the front office may take a sober look at the situation and decide they should get them where they can. Goodson could be an instant platoon member and still have a role even if Wells returns by season’s end.

Rashad Jennings, Jacksonville. Another team going nowhere in 2012 and who should be looking to add draft picks when opportunities present. There’s no need to have a second running back when you are horrible and rarely play with the lead. Jennings is age 27, also, so he has more value now to a team that would use him. His career 5.2 YPC suggest he might be a decent flyer for Arizona.

Pierre Thomas or Chris Ivory, New Orleans. Thomas is 27, and is signed for two more years. He’s not likely to be moved since he’s part of the 1-2 rotation, the Cardinals should at least inquire given the Saints crowded backfield and their 1-4 start. Chris Ivory, meanwhile, is buried behind Sproles, Thomas and Ingram, and should have value now with a team in need, and the Saints not needing him.

[photo via US Presswire]

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