Cardinals Starters Could Miss Packers Rematch

Anquan Boldin (Getty)

Coach Ken Whisenhunt rested many of his starters last week in the regular-season finale, hoping to enter the playoffs in good health. Instead, three starters suffered injuries that will have to be monitored during the week.

The most serious appears to be receiver Anquan Boldin, who suffered a sprained left ankle in the third quarter.

Boldin was sore Monday morning and was scheduled to undergo an MRI.

He said after the game he would play, and that could happen, but he's at best questionable at this point. The Cardinals have the depth to compensate, although losing Boldin would damage their hopes of beating the Packers in the first round.

Steve Breaston has started before, and Early Doucet is emerging as a competent receiver. He would be the No. 3 wideout with Jerheme Urban as the fourth.

Right defensive end Calais Campbell suffered a fractured left thumb, but is expected to play. He likely will wear a cast, which will limit his ability to grab offensive linemen.

The Cardinals don't have much depth at the spot, so Campbell's availability is important.

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suffered a bruised left kneecap and likely will miss some practice time. Rodgers-Cromartie should be able to play, coach Ken Whisenhunt aid. The Cardinals don't have much depth at cornerback so losing Rodgers-Cromartie would be a big blow.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Coach Ken Whisenhunt took some heat for resting some players, yet allowing receiver Larry Fitzgerald to play into the fourth quarter.

Fitzgerald wasn't hurt and said after the game no one asked him about sitting out.

Whisenhunt contradicted that on Monday, saying Fitzgerald wanted to stay in the game in hopes of getting his 100th catch of the season and another touchdown.

He finished with 97 catches but he did catch his 13th touchdown pass, setting a personal record.

--The Cardinals didn't attach any significance to their 33-7 loss to the Packers. They didn't play their starters much and the game plan was limited.

"At the end of the day, if they want to celebrate it, then they can go ahead," said Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett. "It's a tough team, and I'm pretty sure everybody is going to pick them to win. They played good. We were impressed and hopefully we keep up with them this weekend."

--The Cardinals lost motivation for the Packers game when the Vikings beat the Giants earlier in the day. That eliminated the Cardinals' chance of getting a No. 2 seed. If the Giants had won, the Cardinals would have tried to win the Packers game.

"I think the Minnesota game affected our team," Whisenhunt said. "We were geared up and ready to play. If Minnesota didn't win, we had one plan and if Minnesota won, we had another plan. I would have liked to have seen our team respond a little bit better than that."

--Receiver Anquan Boldin finished the season with 1,024 yards receiving. It's the fifth time in seven NFL seasons that he's gained 1,000 yards, a franchise record.

--Backup quarterback Brian St. Pierre completed his first touchdown pass in seven NFL seasons. Larry Fitzgerald, the receiver, gave St. Pierre the ball.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER NOTES

--WR Anquan Boldin has a sprained left ankle and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday. More information won't be available until Wednesday.

--DE Calais Campbell suffered a fractured left thumb but is expected to play on Sunday against the Packers. Campbell, a starter on the right side, probably will have to play in a cast.

--CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suffered a contusion on his left kneecap on the third play of the game. He reported improvement on Monday and is expected to play Sunday.

--QB Matt Leinart played poorly against the Packers. He completed 13 of 21 passes but had only 96 yards and was intercepted twice.

--P Ben Graham placed three kicks inside the 20, tying the NFL single season record of 42, set by the 49ers Andy Lee.

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