The Arizona Cardinals morning practice was headlined by a spectacular diving catch from Early Doucet, but the bad news is that he didn't get up very quickly from the tough landing. Trainers attended to his left arm and shoulder but the preliminary report is that the issue is actually with his elbow. Ken Whisenhunt should have an update on the exact injury and it's severity before the teams takes the field for their second practice of the day. Hopefully he'll also have an explanation for cornerback Bryant McFadden and nose tackle Gabe Watson's absence. A couple more random notes:
- Chike Okeafor is still being held out with a back problem but at this point, it's still not considered a serious problem. In the meantime Bertrand Berry is taking snaps as the starter.
- It seems like the punt returner job is a three way competiion between Steve Breaston, Michael Ray Garvin and Antrel Rolle. Larry Fitzgerald actually caught a few punts yesterday but it was just for fun.
- If you remember last year's camp there was a buzz around how sharp Kurt Warner looked. So far through a couple days of practice, that hasn't necessarily been the case. Some say that he looks a bit stiff while others are saying that he just looks a bit out of sync. The guy did have hip surgery just a couple of months ago and he trying to live up to an MVP-like 2008 season but it's something that everyone is starting to talk about now.
Update: According to Coach Whiz, Doucet has a sprained left shoulder and is having an MRI as a precaution. McFadden has a slight ankle sprain and Watson has a sore knee. Another ankle sprain isn't a big deal but Watson favoring his knee again could become a concern if this turns into a regular pattern. Watson was never the same player last year after fracturing his knee cap and the Cardinals need him to return to his 2007 form.
A couple of links from the weekend:
Searching for rookie gems as NFL training camps open - Rashad Johnson (3rd Round, 95th Overall) - It's impossible not to like Johnson's work ethic and dedication. All his life, he's been proving he's better than some give him credit for, having turned down several other scholarship offers to walk on at Alabama, where he became an All-American. His knowledge of the game is superb, he puts in the time and is more professional than a lot of players in the league right now. Some already are quietly comparing Johnson to Adrian Wilson. He won't start, but Johnson is always around the ball and is a playmaker.
Cardinals pleased overall with O-line - We hear the Cardinals are keeping an eye on former Bengals OLT Levi Jones, a local product who has expressed an interest in playing for the team. But according to one team insider, "Unless he’s willing to play for the minimum, he probably won’t sign here." For the time being, the Cardinals remain more than satisfied with veteran starting OLT Mike Gandy.
NFC Whispers - We hear the sleeper of the Cardinals' training camp could be first-year DL Keilen Dykes, who spent most of last season on the practice squad. Daily team observers believe he has the potential to be a force up front. "He's a big, strong guy (6-3, 294) who can play both tackle and end," said one team insider. "He's in great shape, and the coaches really like the way he goes about his business."