Rookie running back Beanie Wells watches during the Cardinals' most recent game against the Colts at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Beanie Wells, like almost every running back drafted in the first round, has long been the star of whatever team he was on at the time.
That meant, obviously, lots of playing time -- time Wells isn?t getting a lot of right now as the rookie learns the NFL game.
"It's been rough because I haven't been on the field that much and I am used to being on the field," Wells said. "It's so frustrating for me to not be on the field. I hate it."
Wells has 16 carries in three games and has gained an impressive 4.4 yards a carry. But the first two games did have mistakes -- Wells went the wrong way on his first regular-season play, and then he fumbled twice in his seven Jacksonville attempts -- before he was relegated to just two carries against Indianapolis.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt made it clear it was Wells' inexperience and not mistakes that kept Wells on the sidelines against the Colts. Whisenhunt said thanks to missed practice time in training camp because of injuries, Wells wasn't up to speed, especially in the passing game.
Wells also missed time in the offseason because Ohio State had yet to finish the school year.
"A lot of stuff we do, the checks at the line, going from one play to another, all those sorts of things we do, he's never done before," running backs coach Curtis Modkins said. "He missed all the offseason and missed time in camp being hurt so he?s just playing catch-up."
Wells said he has been enjoying the camaraderie with his fellow running backs but admitted that, while he knew he wasn't going to be the workhorse back, he expected to be playing more.
"Sometimes, I think it can mess with people's confidence, especially for a running back," Wells said. "You have to be out there and get a feel and get your confidence level up before you can get comfortable on the field. Not playing, I don?t think it's helping (me)."
Wells' running talents have been obvious, and he still figures to eventually be a bigger part of the offense. But the Cardinals, under Whisenhunt, have also been cautious with most rookies.
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 2008's No. 1 pick, played sparingly the first half of last season before moving into the starting lineup.
"There is a transition for all of them, especially as a skill player coming into the NFL," Modkins said. "They all handle it differently, but I think (Beanie) is handling it fine."
DRC AND HIS FINGER
Rodgers-Cromartie continues to practice with a bulky wrap to protect the finger fracture on his right hand, but there wasn't any concern by either he or Whisenhunt about his ability to catch the ball if needed Sunday.
"We're just trying to make sure he doesn't do something in practice," Whisenhunt said, explaining the current wrap, before quipping, "He hasn't been able to catch, it didn't seem like, the first couple of games, so I don't know."
"I mean that in a positive way," Whisenhunt added with a smile. "Is he going to be as good with it as without it? Obviously he won't be. But I think he'll be able to function."
BLACKOUT DEADLINE EXTENDED
The Cardinals received a 24-hour extension for the Thursday's blackout deadline, giving them until Friday to sell the slightly-less-than 1,000 seats remaining to sell out and have the game appear on local television.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting Ticketmaster.com.
The Cards had one slight change on the injury report Thursday, adding safety Rashad Johnson (ankle) even though Johnson practiced fully. The rest of the list was unchanged, with five players -- Rodgers-Cromartie, defensive end Kenny Iwebema (ankle), defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (ankle), wideout Steve Breaston (knee) and guard Reggie Wells (thumb) all limited.
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