To question a player's ability to play when hurt is a difficult thing. No one knows better than the player himself whether or not he is able to play through an injury, or whether what they feel is pain or an injury. The Cardinals have had their share of injuries. However, it appears that the toughness of some players is being questioned at some level.
Defensive lineman Darnell Dockett revealed this with some comments he made postgame.
The coach called out a lot of things today that I obviously wanted to say to some guys, but he called it out," said Dockett. "We have some guys sitting in the training room that we need on the field. We need them. we have one more game before our bye week, and we have to do whatever we can do to win this game. We're going to need some guys to step it up to win this game, then they have a whole week off. Hopefully this message rings a bell."
There are only three players who missed because of injury -- tight end Todd Heap, guard Adam Snyder and cornerback Greg Toler. Heap and Toler have missed significant time. However, there have been a lot of players to miss practice time and perhaps this is what Whisenhunt and Dockett also refer to. They need more people practicing more so that game day execution is better.
It is interesting Dockett would bring that up. Toler started one game, but was not a starter to start the season and did not see any time on the field during the first three weeks. Heap has missed every game since he was hurt in Week 2, but the tight end play has not been bad. Snyder missed only Monday's game, but many feel that his absence is an improvement to the line.
It is the first time that the players' toughness has been questioned, or if it is a pleading from the coach to simply have all hands on deck for one week before they get time off.
Why Dockett chose to say that right then after the game is interesting. In the weeks to come we will see if more little things about the team start popping up. If Dockett wanted to bring it up, it means that the thoughts are not isolated in the locker room.
Fair or not, with the number of players that simply cannot play because they are ineligible, the team does need everyone to suck it up a week and then get the rest they need.