Gerald Hayes (Getty)
For the second straight week, the Cardinals will face a run-first team with an elite running back. They controlled Frank Gore last week but lost to the 49ers, 20-16. This week, the challenge will be stopping the Jaguars and running back Maurice Jones-Drew. One of the keys last week was the play of inside linebacker Gerald Hayes.
The Arizona Cardinals consider Gerald Hayes one of the better linebackers in the league. Hayes is a physical player and did a nice job of filling gaps against the 49ers.
He had seven tackles against the 49ers, including four for losses.
A seven-year veteran, Hayes is in his fourth year as a starter and has matured greatly in recent years. As a young player, Hayes was brash and was known to instigate scraps with opponents.
Today, he's much quieter, preferring to lead by performance, not with his mouth.
The performances of Hayes and fellow inside linebacker Karlos Dansby will be important in controlling the Jaguars' running game. They did a nice job last week of reading their keys and filling gaps, forcing offensive linemen to abandon double teams and pick them up.
--WR Steve Breaston practiced on a limited basis Thursday and likely will be questionable for Sunday's game. He has a bone bruise on a knee and a sprained PCL.
--WR Anquan Boldin has practiced more this week than in the previous three weeks and should be able to play Sunday at Jacksonville. He's been dealing with a hamstring injury.
--WR Early Doucet participated in practice this week and should be available for Sunday's game. He missed the season opener because of fractured ribs.
--OLB Chike Okeafor has a shoulder injury that's caused him to miss practice this week. Okeafor hopes to get some work in Friday and be available to play Sunday. If he can't, Bertrand Berry will replace him in the starting lineup.
--DE Kenny Iwebema won't play Sunday because of an ankle injury. Alan Branch will be the main backup defensive end, and the club promoted Keilen Dykes from the practice squad.
--S Matt Ware hasn't practiced this week after suffering his second stinger in as many games. There's no official determination about Ware's status, but it seems doubtful he will play. He's a good special teamer and also plays in dime packages.