Arizona Cardinals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Injury Report and Game Coverage

After a somewhat grim injury report yesterday that included nine players on the list, including four who didn't participate in practice at all, the Arizona Cardinals had better news yesterday after practice. While there were still nine players listed, there were only three who couldn't participate at all and several players moved from 'limited' to full participation, including Sean Morey, Early Doucet and Brian St. Pierre. Steve Breaston practiced on a limited basis after not participating on Wednesday and Anquan Boldin was limited again for the second consecutive day. Reggie Wells is still listed on the report although he's fully participated in every practice. Kenny Iwebema, Matt Ware and Chike Okeafor still haven't practiced this week and the status of Okeafor is now worth watching. He has some form of shoulder injury and if he is unable to play that would push Bertrand Berry into the starting role and Will Davis would become the primary backup at both OLB spots.

The return of Early Doucet to full participation is key considering the still unsure status of Boldin and Breaston. At this point I think it's fair to say that Breaston will be a game time decision again this week but either way he won't return punts or kickoffs. I would also imagine that Boldin will play but the question remains, how much he'll play and how effective he'll be when he's out there. Either way, you'd have to think that the return of Doucet is one of the primary reasons that led to Lance Long getting his walking papers and if he's close to 100%, he should be an upgrade.

The Jaguars status hasn't changed very much with Zach Miller and Brian Witherspoon still being held out of practice although there were two new names on the report. Quentin Groves (DE/OLB) and Daryl Smith (LB) were both limited in practice but both are expected to play.

  • Cards will be able to keep their cool - To the Cardinals cope with the heat and humidity in Jacksonville, some Cardinals will have a cooling system in their shoulder pads. Players can hook a hose to their shoulder pads on the sideline, and cool air blows through an insert in the pads. The Cardinals tried the system out in practice last week, and it drew positive reviews from the players. "Our guys liked it," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "A lot of our guys are like me, they are superstitious about certain stuff. Even though it may be one-tenth of an ounce, in their minds it probably weighs 10 pounds and slows them down." Similar systems have been around for several years, and a handful of college and pro teams have used them. This will be the Cardinals' first experience with the system, however. "I wish they had one for my hat, so that when I get really steamed it could cool me down," Whisenhunt said.
  • Cardinals game blacked out in Jacksonville - The Jaguars aren't expected to have a sell-out this season - Sunday's game will be blacked out in the Jacksonville market - but that doesn't mean they haven't been trying to sell tickets.
  • Challenging The Cards' Defense - The talk was about Frank Gore and slowing Frank Gore and what Frank Gore could do to hurt the Cardinals, so the Cards’ defense used that as motivation in the season opener. The 49ers running back ended up with just 30 yards on 22 carries. "I think (the defense) likes challenges," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "They seem to respond to challenges." There will be another one Sunday against Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who will likely be the key to Jacksonville’s offensive success. But the Cardinals can see that these individual challenges may not be the best motivation, because it can lead to letdowns.
  • Challenging The Cards' Defense - The talk was about Frank Gore and slowing Frank Gore and what Frank Gore could do to hurt the Cardinals, so the Cards’ defense used that as motivation in the season opener. The 49ers running back ended up with just 30 yards on 22 carries. "I think (the defense) likes challenges," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "They seem to respond to challenges." There will be another one Sunday against Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who will likely be the key to Jacksonville’s offensive success. But the Cardinals can see that these individual challenges may not be the best motivation, because it can lead to letdowns.
  • Arizona RB Tim Hightower vs. Jackonsville LB Justin Durant - In only the third meeting between these two teams, both the Cardinals and Jaguars are coming off Week 1 losses. This matchup features a pair of Division I-AA players from Virginia. Hightower, who was not invited to the combine prior to the 2008 draft, established himself during his rookie season as a do-everything player. He was discovered by former Cardinals assistant Maurice Carthon at a campus workout. A good all-around player, he can run , catch, block, and keep defenses from keying on him. Hightower, who had 10 rushing TDs in 2008, caught 12 passes last week for 121 yards. Durant had a team-leading 10 tackles last week against the Colts. He plays fast -- he ran a 4.62 40 at 240 pounds at combine in 2007. He will hit someone on every play. Durant had 17 tackles in a wild-card playoff game against Pittsburgh in 2007. He has the ability to make plays in space, which he will need to do against Hightower and the Cardinals.
  • The Arizona Cardinals on the East Coast is not Normally Good..... - I know the Cards won last year in Carolina in convincing fashion, but did you know they’ve lost 11 consecutive regular-season games on the East Coast and lost all five of their regular-season East Coast games in 2008 by a combined score of 202-102? The last time the Cardinals won a regular-season game in the east was Nov. 7, 2004, at Miami when they won 24-23. I know the Cards need to win, but they don’t seem to like the eastern time zone. With Kurt Warner looking a little rusty last week and the fact they’re playing in Jacksonville, it might spell trouble for Arizona.

  • Fantasy Start 'Em/Sit 'Em - Owners beware: Neil Rackers at Jaguars - The Jacksonville defense ranked third in allowing fewest fantasy points to kickers in 2008.
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