Jimmy Johnson says the Arizona Cardinals could use running back Ray Rice, who was reinstated to play in the NFL last week after his domestic-violence arrest earlier this year.
Johnson, who coached the Dallas Cowboys to back-to-back Super Bowl wins in the early '90s, made the suggestion during the halftime show for yesterday's Cardinals game on FOX, a 29-18 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
"It might be time for [Cardinals coach] Bruce Arians and [general manager] Steve Keim to sit down with [ownership] and say, 'How about Ray Rice?'" Johnson said.
The Cardinals had amassed 16 rushing yards by halftime, and starting running back Andre Ellington -- who gained 12 yards on five carries -- left the game with a hip injury.
Rookie running back Marion Grice, a former ASU standout, took over after Ellington's exit, and picked up 16 yards on five carries. Combined with one rush by quarterback Drew Stanton, the Cardinals had a grand total of 35 rushing yards on 11 attempts yesterday.
The Cardinals still lead the NFC West, and remain tied for the best record in the NFC with the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers, but have now lost two games in a row, and the rushing attack is fairly anemic -- to the point that Johnson is imploring the team's front office to consider signing Rice.
Rice, the former number-one back for the Baltimore Ravens, was suspended indefinitely earlier this year after beating his then-fiancée in an elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and video surfaced of Rice dragging her body from the elevator.
Rice was dropped by the Ravens, and after being reinstated by the league last week, is free to sign with any team.
The Cardinals signing Rice wouldn't make a whole lot of sense, however. The Rice case brought a lot of attention to domestic violence in the NFL, and the team quickly deactivated backup running back Jonathan Dwyer from the team earlier this year when he was arrested for domestic violence in Phoenix. The team announced that move at the same time it announced running back Chris Rainey from the practice squad. Rainey was twice arrested for altercations with women well before joining the Cardinals.
The Cardinals also recently signed former Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush, although he's yet to see any playing time with the Cards.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported yesterday that four teams had "expressed interest" in signing Rice, although he was unable to find out who two of the teams were. The other two were the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, but he reported neither team was expected to sign him.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport suggested it might be unlikely that Rice lands on an NFL roster this year:
On Ray Rice: A handful of teams have expressed interest, and he's ready to play if someone wants to sign him. Still, better chance for 2015— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 30, 2014
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