Understandably, Beanie Wells came through the media gauntlet Tuesday after practice seemingly reluctant.
The rookie running back's smile was still there, and he still answered all the questions asked. But he knew the majority of the queries were about his ankle, and, to him, that has become a tired subject.
Wells should finally play in his first preseason game Friday night against Green Bay.
"When you are a first-round pick and high-profile pick like Beanie is, there is a lot of pressure on you to perform and justify that pick," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "That is what he is seeing, not just from the local media but from everyone, that's what they want to talk about. I don't necessarily feel that pressure, or as an organization, because I have seen him do a lot of things on the field before he got hurt and I realize he has a chance to be a very good football player.
"Would we like to see him play? Certainly. We want to see all our players play."
For a second straight day at practice, Wells looked relatively healthy.
"I'm back to where I was before," the optimistic Wells said. "I'm just going to keep saying my prayers and keep working hard."
STARTERS TO PLAY MORE
The starters will play until the half against the Packers, Whisenhunt said, and what happens after halftime will be determined with how the game has unfolded.
"You never know for sure," Whisenhunt said, "but we anticipate the first team playing through the first half. (The rest) depends on how many snaps they get and who is coming out on the second half."
For instance, Whisenhunt said, if the Cards' defense is scheduled to be on the field first in the third quarter and plays a lot of snaps in the first half, he may immediately shift to the second unit after the break.
The same players sat out Tuesday as sat out the day before, with WR Steve Breaston still sidelined with his bad knee. Also out were QB Brian St. Pierre (back), LB Ali Highsmith (ankle) and T Elliot Vallejo (kneecap), while DT Keilen Dykes (quad) again worked in individual drills and then sat out team work.
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was absent excused to take care of a personal issue, but Whisenhunt said he would return Wednesday.
LOOKING AT LBS
With Cody Brown done for the season, the Cardinals worked out DE/LB Angelo Craig out of Cincinnati Tuesday. Whisenhunt said the club will probably try out "a couple" of players, looking to perhaps sign one prior to the final preseason game. The Cardinals will want bodies for that game, when veterans usually play little if at all.