Mike Gandy (Stephen Dunn/Getty)
The Cardinals' offensive line has managed to stay intact this season, with the same five starters in all eight games. That streak is threatened this week, however, by left tackle Mike Gandy's sprained right ankle. Gandy suffered the injury in last week's victory over the Rams, and he was limited in Thursday's practice, the club's first full workout of the week.
Mike Gandy experienced soreness in the practice, so he didn't work out long.
The Cardinals have a couple of options in replacing him. In last week's game, they moved right tackle Levi Brown to the left side, where he played in college at Penn State. Elton Brown took over at right tackle.
But that was a decision made within a game, and the club could go a different way in order to avoid making a double move. Elliot Vallejo, in his first year on the regular roster, is the obvious choice.
Vallejo has been inactive the past four games and didn't play in the first four this season when he was active. He spent last year on the practice squad.
Coaches were pleased with Vallejo's development during the offseason but his inexperience would make a starting assignment risky. Most likely, Gandy will try to play Monday night against the 49ers.
--WR Larry Fitzgerald caught just three passes for 31 yards against the 49ers in the season opener, but he did score a touchdown. The Cardinals have opened up their offense since then, and Fitzgerald has not had fewer than six catches and 52 yards. Four times, he has had more than 100 yards receiving.
--RB Edgerrin James will be active this week, despite not playing a down last week in St. Louis. James doesn't contribute on special teams, but coaches want him active in case of injury to Tim Hightower.
--RB Tim Hightower will get his second straight start, and he will continue to be the team's goal-line back. Hightower has seven rushing touchdowns this year, so coaches aren't going to replace him in that role.
--QB Kurt Warner has passed for at least two touchdowns in seven straight games. He has passed for more than 300 yards four times this year.
--TE Leonard Pope (ankle, foot) could miss his third straight game on Sunday with an ankle/foot injury.
--TE Ben Patrick (knee) returned to practice this week after missing the past three games. Coaches are hopeful that he will be able to play Sunday.
--CB Eric Green likely will lose his starting job this week to rookie Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Green said he is playing with nagging injuries, which have limited him. Rodgers-Cromartie hasn't been great, but he has a bigger upside than Green.