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Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers: Boldin Injury Status Still Unclear

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After sounding very confident in Anquan Boldin's status earlier in the week, Arizona Cardinals' head coach Ken Whisenhunt sounded not quite so sure of himself yesterday. Boldin was limited in practice again on Wednesday, limiting himself to some early work but was then shut down to avoid any undue stress on a hamstring that is obviously less than 100%. During that early work he did some light running but his primary goal was about understanding assignments and the game plan. Boldin has been unavailable during the time that the locker room was open to reporters but Whisenhunt's comments on Boldin's status did seem to show some concern:

"We shut it down just so he wouldn't stress it," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "I don't know where he really is at this point. Hopefully, he'll continue to improve and he'll have a shot (at playing) on Sunday. He did a little running in that period and it didn't seem to bother him. I think it was a good first step."

With very little practice time remaining before Sunday's contest with the 49ers, it seems likely that Boldin might not significantly test his hamstring until game time. The rest of the injury report remains the same, Sean Morey, Early Doucet and Brian St. Pierre were limited while Steve Breaston and Matt Ware fully participated but are still listed on the report. Breaston continues to look good in practice but has acknowledged that he's not very close to 100%. Whisenhunt did add that if Boldin does not play that it's likely they're try to protect Breaston from overuse by limiting his work on special teams. That likely means that Antrel Rolle will get a shot on punt returns and rookie LaRod Stephens-Howling could see action in his first game as the primary kick returner.

Another interesting aspect to the Boldin injury is that Early Doucet (fractured ribs) is not expected to suit up on Sunday, despite his limited status in practice all week, and that likely means that fan favorite Lance Long could see some regular snaps with the offense at wide receiver. His competition, Sean Morey, has been limited all week in practice with a rib injury so Long might just see his first action in a regular season game. The decision to keep seven receivers isn't looking so questionable now.