Cardinals: Bye Week News & Notes

Ken Whisenhunt (Getty)

The Cardinals enter the bye week with a record of 3-2, depsite a rash of struggles.

NOTES

--The Cardinals have been inconsistent through five games, but coach Ken Whisenhunt still decided to give his players most of the bye week off.

The Cardinals went through a full practice Wednesday, and veterans had the rest of the week off. Rookies and some other young players were due in Thursday for film study and light work on the field.

--The Cardinals are coming off one of their better special teams efforts in four seasons under Whisenhunt. LaRod Stephens-Howling had returns of 48 and 60 yards. Ben Graham kept the Saints pinned with superb punting, and the coverage teams were solid.

The Saints averaged just 19.1 yards on kickoff returns and did not gain a yard on punt returns.

"We felt like special teams had to be a big factor," said kick Jay Feely, "because you're playing the defending Super Bowl champions, who have a good offense. We have a dynamic special teams group. LaRod is a great returner; he has a chance to take it to the house every time he touches it. Ben pins them down at the 1-yard line."

--Since losing consecutive games in December of 2008, the Cardinals are 9-0 after a loss.

--The Cardinals are 3-2 for the fourth consecutive time under Whisenhunt.

--The defense played its best game of the season because every player concentrated on doing his job, nothing more, said end Darnell Dockett.

"Everybody wanted to point the finger," Dockett said. "We've got to stick together. We know what kind of defense we got. I think last week was probably the quietest practices I've seen in a long time because everybody was focusing on their jobs.

"When you go out and try to do somebody else's job, that's usually when you get your (rear) whupped."

--WR Andre Roberts was sure-handed last week against the Saints after dropping many passes in training camp and through the first month. Roberts also did a nice job fielding punts.

--RB Beanie Wells averaged just 1.8 yards on 20 carries last week, but there were times he had room to run. Wells missed some holes, and he was tripped up too easily a couple of times. --LB Paris Lenon has two interceptions this year, matching the total he had in his eight previous seasons.

--CB Greg Toler is playing well in his role opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Over the past two games, Rhodes has nine tackles, a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery and five passes defensed.

--LT Levi Brown scored the first touchdown of his life when he returned a Max Hall fumble 2 yards last week.

INJURY IMPACT

--WR Steve Breaston (knee) is expected to return for the Seattle game after missing two games with a knee injury. He will move back into the No. 2 role.

--WR Early Doucet (hernia) is expected to return after missing four games following surgery. He will be in the No. 3 role when he's ready.

--DE Kenny Iwebema (knee) a backup and special teams player, missed last week's game. It's unknown if he will return after the off week.

--ILB Gerald Hayes (back) is expected to return from the physically unable perform list next Monday. He is expected to practice, and the team will decide if he is ready to be activated.

--S Matt Ware (ankle) did not play last week. He is hopeful of playing against the Seahawks next week.

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