All Eyes on Cardinals Receiver Anquan Boldin
Anquan Boldin (Getty)
Anquan Boldin (Getty)

Posted Nov 11, 2009


Taking a game off didn't please receiver Anquan Boldin, but coach Ken Whisehunt hopes the rest means he can count on Boldin for an entire game. Boldin has been playing through a high ankle sprain for nearly a month now, and he didn't finish games against the Giants and Panthers.

Anquan Boldin expected to play last week against the Bears, saying he felt better than he had in three weeks. But Whisenhunt elected to de-activate Boldin, which had the Pro Bowl receiver seething.

Whisehunt gave a few reasons for the move: the thick, loose turf at Soldier Field, the recent improvement of Early Doucet, and most of all, Boldin's health.

With Boldin not finishing games, Whisenhunt decided the team would be better off with Doucet, who was active for the first time this season.

Whisenhunt said he didn't expect Boldin's anger to cause any problems this week, but he was just trying to diffuse the situation.

Boldin is unhappy over his contract, and he distrusts Whisenhunt and others in the organization. If he returns this week, he will play hard, but he won't have a smile.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Kurt Warner bounced back from a poor game against the Panthers (five interceptions, one fumble) to have a great game against the Bears (five touchdown passes, no turnovers). Warner was sharp with his throws, and the Cardinals converted their first eight third-down situations.

--RB Tim Hightower likely will receive fewer carries as backup Beanie Wells develops, but Hightower is going to remain an important part of the offense. He's an excellent receiver and picked up the blitz well last week in Chicago.

--RB Beanie Wells continues to produce when given a chance. He gained 72 yards on 13 carries against the Bears, including a season-long run of 26 yards.

--RB Jason Wright won't play more than a handful of snaps in any game. He'll participate in some obvious passing situations, but that's about it.

--WR Larry Fitzgerald still isn't getting open downfield, but he caught two more touchdown passes last week. He has seven touchdowns this season. His career high is 12, which he set last year.

--WR Anquan Boldin missed last week's game because of a sore right ankle, but he wanted to play. He expects to play this Sunday.

--WR Steve Breaston continues to produce when Anquan Boldin isn't in the lineup. In the six games Boldin has missed over the last two seasons, Breaston has 30 catches for 370 yards and three touchdowns.

--TE Ben Patrick has caught touchdown passes in each of the past two games. He's become an important target in the red zone.

--TE Anthony Becht is the best blocking tight end on the club, and he's shown he can catch when asked to. He caught a touchdown pass last week.

--K Neil Rackers has been reliable this season, missing only one field goal. Rackers also has kicked off well.

--SS Adrian Wilson is coming off a couple of sub-par games. He played near the line of scrimmage against the Panthers, who ran for 270 yards. And he was beaten twice for touchdowns last week by Bears TE Greg Olsen.

--OLB Chike Okeafor leads the team with four sacks. The Cardinals have 21 total sacks from 11 players.

--LB Gerald Hayes missed last week's game with back spasms. His availability for this week is unknown.



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