Hightower, who was held to 15 yards on eight carries rushing the ball, caught 12 passes for 121 yards – the first time a Cardinals’ running back had cracked 100 yards receiving since Larry Centers did it in Indianapolis Sept. 1, 1996.
“We took what they gave us,” Hightower said. “That’s what I have been working on. Obviously the more balance you can be, the more versatile you can be, the harder it is for the defense.”
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the Cards had seen some things on tape to know there may be some opportunities for Hightower to make plays in the passing game. But targeting Hightower wasn’t as much part of the game plan as a necessary adjustment, quarterback
“It was a combination of things,” Warner said. “Sometimes it was the only thing open.”
So Boldin gave it a shot. He caught just two passes for 19 yards and played about half the offensive snaps, clearly looking less than 100 percent.
Boldin was unavailable for comment, but Whisenhunt said Boldin was “a warrior.”
“It was a tough situation,” Whisenhunt said. “When I knew Steve was going to be down, which was a surprise, I was faced with a tough decision at receiver. Anquan felt like he could go and contribute. I don’t fault Anquan at all.”
“(Those calls) are a point of emphasis,” Wilson said. “But I’m not going to let the guy catch the ball. It is what it is. The way I play, I’m not going to change that. I feel it’s clean. We’ll see what happens on Tuesday (when discipline is handed out).”
Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald didn’t make a catch until less than a minute remained in the first half. “We aren’t going to force the ball into bad situations,” Fitzgerald said.