Rashard Mendenhall still was sporting a brace on the sideline during Monday's practice, but Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians no longer is worried about the "looseness" in his starting running back's knee.
"I did not let him go today, but he's more than ready," Arians said, via the team's official website. "And Ryan (Williams) is full speed, so we're fully healthy at running back."
All signs point toward Mendenhall starting in Sunday's season opener at St. Louis.
Following up an impressive first offseason in the desert, Mendenhall averaged 6.1 yards on 13 preseason carries, while the rest of the Cardinals' running backs combined to average just 3.39 yards per tote.
As long as Mendenhall is healthy, he is the clear lead dog.
We don't want to undersell that caveat, however. It's never a good sign when the team's top two backs miss multiple preseason weeks with knee injuries. As is the case with the offensive line, experienced depth is a concern in Arizona's backfield.