Activated for the first time Sunday against Buffalo, running back J.J. Arrington provided an important part of the offense.
J.J. Arrington just smiled a bit when asked if he was now going to play every week, after the veteran running back was activated for the first time last weekend against Buffalo
"Ahh, I don't know," Arrington said. "I have no clue. That's up to the coaches."
Whether Arrington – in the last year of his contract – is used more isn't clear, although offensive coordinator Todd Haley said he liked the idea of having three tailbacks (Arrington, Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower) at his disposal.
Arrington fills a role no other player really can. He is the lone back with speed, and made an impact with his 19 rushing yards (on four carries) and 25 receiving yards (on three catches).
"It was just good to get back out there and make some plays," Arrington said.
Arrington had been inactive in favor of backup fullback Tim Castille the first four games. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Arrington fit better in some of the three- and four-receiver packages the Cards used against the Bills, and he also could return kickoffs – taking pressure of Steve Breaston, who was the No. 2 receiver with Anquan Boldin out.
"Once JJ got in the flow and made a couple of plays, with his speed … he had some opportunities and he took advantage of it," Whisenhunt said.
Arrington knew he was going to play in the game with the added reps he received in practice. It would seem to be probable he'd stay in the lineup this weekend against Dallas ahead of Castille -- simply because he brings a element to the roster that is otherwise lacking.
"I will stay ready," Arrington said. "I will prepare myself like I will play."
The Cardinals' injury list grew Wednesday, but only two players – tight end Ben Patrick (knee) and Boldin (facial surgery) did not practice. Six players did limited work, although they were some significant names: starting cornerbacks Rod Hood (groin) and Eric Green (groin), linebacker Clark Haggans (groin), safety Adrian Wilson (hamstring), defensive end Bertrand Berry (groin) and tight end Jerame Tuman (hamstring).
While Patrick sat, Tuman was on the practice field for the first time since suffering his injury before the first regular-season game. And fellow tight end Leonard Pope (ankle) practiced full.
Boldin was absent as he went to a doctor appointment as follow-up to his surgery.
ORCHESTRATING THE COWBOYS
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said publicly he likes attention heaped on his team and his players. The Cowboys took part in HBO's training camp show "Hard Knocks" and have high-profile players like quarterback Tony Romo, receiver Terrell Owens, defensive tackle Tank Johnson and cornerback Pacman Jones.
Asked how he can orchestrate such a situation, coach Wade Phillips chuckled.
"Well, you've got to have two batons, I think with this team," Phillips said. "But it's a fun group. The guys work hard and that's the thing I like about them. They have fun off the field and sometimes with the press and those kinds of things, but they're really hard workers."
The appeal of Jets safety Eric Smith on his punishment for his hit on Boldin was officially denied Wednesday. Smith will serve a one-game suspension this weekend and must pay a $50,000 fine. There is still no word on the potential fine for Wilson's hit on Bills quarterback Trent Edwards; that is usually announced on Fridays. …
The Cowboys have their own injury issues. They had three players miss practice Wednesday, and all three are not expected to play against Arizona: Safety Roy Williams, cornerback Terence Newman and guard Kyle Kosier.
Contact Darren Urban at email@example.com. Posted 10/8/08.