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Cards Bridg(es)ing The Gap at Left Tackle

Posted Dec 3, 2009

Notebook: Gandy misses practice again; Warner still progressing

Jeremy Bridges (73) got his first NFL regular-season work at left tackle in the game at Tennessee when he went in for an injured Mike Gandy.
 
 
Jeremy Bridges has played in the NFL for seven seasons, playing both guard positions and right tackle in the majority of his 62 games coming into this year.

He didn’t play left tackle before filling in for the hurting Mike Gandy last weekend in Tennessee, but the veteran also doesn’t worry about possible starting there against the Vikings Sunday night either.

“They say you are supposed to be a little more finesse at left tackle, but it’s the same difference, man,” Bridges said. “You’ve got great athletes coming off that edge and you’ve got to block them. You’ve got to do a lot of dancing.”

Bridges may be up because Gandy remains a question mark at best with a pelvic injury that isn’t going away. Gandy missed a second straight day of practice Thursday and coach Ken Whisenhunt said the Cards are still trying to determine if Gandy can even recover enough to play.

Whether he is comfortable with Bridges stepping in to a line that, at this point, has started 27 straight regular-season games and 31 straight including the postseason, Whisenhunt quipped, “Can I answer that after the game?”

Losing continuity tends to bother a coach, and so does the idea of starting a backup against a Vikings’ pass rush that features Pro Bowler Jared Allen. Allen has been a game-changer this season with 12½ sacks and caused major havoc against Gandy when the teams met last season.

“I am playing well right now,” Allen said. “Pass rushing is going great, but you know, I have that mentality no matter what. If you go on the field thinking someone can block you, you might as well not step on the field.”

Whisenhunt did point to Bridges’ experience as reason to feel better he can step in for Gandy, who has started 75 straight games. Gandy hasn’t missed a game since he was cut by Chicago in 2004.

Bridges is ready to step in, and brushed off the idea he’s worse off having to deal with Allen this week.

“You can get whooped by anybody any Sunday,” Bridges said. “Jared Allen isn’t special, he’s a good defensive end but there are a lot of good defensive ends in this league. You have to prepare for all of them. “

WARNER STILL PROGRESSING

The status of quarterback Kurt Warner didn’t change Thursday. He still is splitting reps with Matt Leinart and while he feels better, there has been no determination one way or the other about his availability Sunday night.

“You want to make the decision now, but we have to see how it goes with Kurt,” Whisenhunt said. “Even though he may feel great today, it could be a situation where something comes up.”

Whisenhunt said because of the way things could change daily, he expects the decision for Warner “in some matter or shape” to come Sunday.

The injury report did not change Thursday. Aside from Gandy, tight end Stephen Spach – who reinjured his knee weightlifting – also missed practice, although Spach isn’t supposed to miss much time, Whisenhunt said. Five players were limited: linebacker Karlos Dansby (shoulders), running back Tim Hightower (thumb), defensive end Kenny Iwebema (thumb), kicker Neil Rackers (groin) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (knee).

REMEMBERING PETERSON

The Arizona media interviewing Vikings coach Brad Childress this week got through the entire conference call without a question about star running back Adrian Peterson.

“That is somewhat bizarre,” Childress noted. “It’s either that or how misguided you guys are down there.”

The Cardinals themselves aren’t misguided about Peterson, who piled up 165 yards when the teams met last season.

“Yeah, we’re certainly not overlooking Adrian Peterson,” Whisenhunt said. “He’s a good running back, best in the NFL.”

Dansby shook his head at the idea the Cards could forget about Peterson.

“He could’ve had 2,000 yards last year,” Dansby said. “Shoot, he’s still got it. He hadn’t lost it, and we know they will try to establish the run and talk the pressure off Brett (Favre).

“(Tennessee’s) Chris Johnson is playing out of his mind right now. But Adrian Peterson ain’t too far behind him.”

GAME SOLD OUT

The Vikings game was officially announced as a sellout Thursday, no shock for the game that has been moved to a 6:20 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised locally on NBC. All 40 Cardinals game at University of Phoenix Stadium – including preseason and postseason games – have sold out.
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