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Cards Find Way To Bounce Back

Posted Jan 7, 2010

Notebook: DRC, Rolle return to practice; Boldin, Lutui remain sidelined

The Cardinals have avoided back-to-back losses all season, including their emotional win over the Vikings coming off a loss in Tennessee.
 
 
The Cardinals didn’t lose back-to-back games this season for the first time since 1975.

They certainly don’t want that string snapped Sunday in the Wild Card playoff game against Green Bay, after losing the regular-season finale to the same Packers last weekend.

“You don’t want to get on a losing streak for sure,” defensive end Darnell Dockett said. “Everyone knows what is at stake for us.”

The Cards’ ability to avoid a losing streak is nebulous to measure. Quarterback Kurt Warner points to consistency. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said the roster is simply more willing to “pay the price” to keep winning.

“You look here on a Monday or Tuesday, you have 40 or 50 guys working out or watching tape or doing something,” Fitzgerald said. “In years past, when we weren’t very good, a day off was a day off. This place was a ghost town.”

Warner said after a loss, players are bothered the Cards have not played up to their potential.
 
“We don’t want to be remembered for the inconsistency or the bad games we play,” Warner said. “We want to be known for our consistency and playing up to a high level week in and week out.”

The Cards opened the season with a 20-16 home loss to the 49ers, but bounced back with a 31-17 road win in Jacksonville. The next game was a 31-10 loss to the Colts at home, but after the bye, the Cards beat Houston, 28-21, at home.

The Cards followed a 34-21 home loss to Carolina with a 41-21 pounding of the Bears in Chicago, came off the heartbreaking 20-17 loss in Tennessee by battering the Vikings at home, 31-17, and then forgot about the 24-9 Monday night loss in San Francisco by knocking off the Lions and Rams back-to-back.

Now they will try and respond against the Packers.

“You don’t have a choice in this league,” Fitzgerald said. “You have to find a solution. It’s a copycat league so when someone has success doing something the week before, you know you will see it the next week. Our coaches do a good job addressing those concerns and making sure we stop the bleeding.”

DRC, ROLLE PRACTICE; BOLDIN, LUTUI DON’T

As the week goes on, it’s looking more likely that only one player – wide receiver Anquan Boldin – will truly be in limbo because of an injury heading into the weekend.

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who said Wednesday he had to practice the next day or he wouldn’t play on his bruised knee, was back on the field Thursday. Officially he was limited, but Whisenhunt said DRC did almost everything.

“I was out there full speed and it felt good,” Rodgers-Cromartie said, saying he would definitely play Sunday and felt no soreness. “It felt real good to be out there flying around.”

Safety Antrel Rolle (thigh) also did some limited work. Starting guard Deuce Lutui (back) sat out, but he said he wasn’t concerned after leaving mid-practice Wednesday with back spasms and that it was “nothing serious.” Both he and Whisenhunt expect Lutui to practice Friday.

Boldin remains the question mark. After sitting out practice again, Boldin said his high left ankle sprain is a much bigger problem than his MCL sprain.

“It’s getting better,” Boldin said. “You never know.”

CAMPBELL’S CLUB

Defensive end Calais Campbell, once again limited in his work with his left hand in a cast after thumb surgery, was scheduled to have doctors look at the injury again Thursday afternoon. He still plans on playing Sunday, although “I just don’t want to do something to hurt the team,” he said.

If Campbell plays, his cast will likely have to be wrapped as a thick club to protect the area, making it tougher to shed blockers.

“I think if I can still get a good push, get off blocks, I’m definitely going to go,” Campbell said. “If I feel I am hurting the team, (Alan) Branch is a pretty good player, Kenny (Iwebema) is a pretty good player too.”

Campbell reiterated his thoughts of earlier in the week, that the fact the Cards prepared for the Packers last week will aid him this week given his lessened practice time.

THE COLOR OF A SELLOUT

The Cardinals announced Thursday the game has been sold out, meaning it will be shown on local TV. The question is how many Packers fans find their way into University of Phoenix Stadium.

“We’d love to be at home playing in front of 70,000, but I tell you, the reception and the ‘Go Pack Go!’ chants from the fans down in Arizona was pretty awesome last week,” Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

Whisenhunt said he is counting on the Cardinals’ faithful to drown out any Packers’ noise.

“I know our fans have been good supporting us and I anticipate that same playoff atmosphere we had last year,” Whisenhunt said. “It was really an advantage for us.”
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