Small Stephens-Howling gets big role for Cardinals

    2012-10-12 17:17

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By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - The Arizona Cardinals have a drastic shortage of running backs, just when they are about to meet a Buffalo defense that has been highly susceptible to the run.

Beanie Wells is long gone with a turf toe, with his earliest return Nov. 25. Now Ryan Williams is out for the season with a left shoulder injury that required surgery.

Enter LaRod Stephens-Howling, the diminutive situational back who has been in this situation before. Replacing the injured Wells in last season's finale against Seattle, the 5-foot-7, 2009 seventh-round draft pick gained 93 yards in 17 carries in Arizona's 23-20 overtime victory.

Behind Stephens-Howling are William Powell and Alfonso Smith, a depth chart that does not breed optimism for the Cardinal faithful.