But coach Bruce Arians maintained throughout the season that the rookie was too slight of build to be a workhorse.
Addressing the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, Arians said Ellington already added 10 pounds during offseason work. He then changed his tune on the running back.
"We want to build our offense around him," Arians said of Ellington.
The comment speaks to Arians' faith in Ellington's ability to become more durable.
Building an offense that keys on Ellington makes sense -- as he is the most dynamic runner on the roster -- but that doesn't mean he will get 25 carries a game.
On Thursday, general manager Steve Kiem praised Stepfan Taylor's pass protection and ability to run between the tackles during his rookie season. Keim said the team has "big expectations" for Taylor in 2014.
Keim said the team planned to use a "platoon of backs," mainly because of Ellington's build.
We should note that Charles had 259 carries in 2013, following a 285-carry season.
If Ellington puts on more weight, as Arians suggested Friday, he should be the leader of that Cardinals platoon.