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RB Wells, WR Doucet Among the Battered Birds

Whether or not Beanie Wells is able to go this week and play effectively may decide a lot in Atlanta.

Like in real estate, it seems that long-term success for a football team is in large part predicated on three important factors: depth, depth, and depth.  Championship teams have it.  The Cardinals relied on it last weekend, but they are hoping they won’t need it as much this Sunday against the Falcons; they might.

Obviously, Beanie Wells wasn’t able to play last weekend, so the Cardinals relied on their depth at running back.  LaRod Stephens-Howling contributed with 49 yards on 7 carries, which provided a production boost in Wells’ absence and during Tim Hightower’s fumbling issues.  Hyphen provides a great mix of speed, athleticism, blocking, and is a great target if Anderson’s in trouble or doesn’t have anything down field.  Ken Whisenhunt admitted that, “We talked about it in training camp about wanting to get LaRod more involved.  I think we can see why that’s important.”  He filled in admirably in Week 1 and he continues to be an asset to this team.

Make no mistake, however, the Cardinals very much would like Wells to recover from his sore knee, which has hampered him since Week 4 of the pre-season.  He participated in limited practice yesterday (8/15).  According to Darren Urban, “Wells said the motion is back with his knee and his pain is ‘minimal,’ adding that he did run and cut Wednesday without practicing with his teammates.”

The Cardinals expect to put Wells through the paces today (9/16) and if he holds up he is expected to be ready for Sunday, which would be a welcome boost the Cards’ offense.

The Cardinals’ injury issues are also significantly affecting the wide receiver depth chart as well.  Doucet, started early this year with his injuries, as he’s already come down with an abdominal strain during the pre-season and now may miss extended time during the regular season with a possible sports hernia.  Doucet was examined by a specialist yesterday to determine whether surgery is necessary; there’s no word, yet.  Larry Fitzgerald had the following to say regarding Doucet’s latest injury:

It’s unfortunate because Early worked his butt off this offseason.  I just hope we can get him back as soon as the bye is over and have him ready to go and help us.  It sucks.  We will miss him for these next couple of weeks but someone has to pick up the slack.”

Send in the rookies.  While Doucet is out, the Cardinals will lean on a triumvirate of rookie wide receivers, consisting of Max Komar, Andre Roberts, and Stephen Williams to pad the depth chart topped by Fitzgerald and Breaston.

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