Running back Beanie Wells, who fumbled twice Sunday, waits to get back in the game standing next to coach Ken Whisenhunt.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Call Anthony Becht Beanie's Buddy.
The veteran tight end saved rookie running back Beanie Wells twice during the Cards' 31-17 win over the Jaguars Sunday, each time when Wells fumbled the ball. The first time came when Wells lost the ball inside the Jacksonville 5-yard line, and Becht fell on it at the 1. The next play, Tim Hightower ran in the touchdown.
Later Wells fumbled again and this time, it was recovered by Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis at the Jacksonville 21 and returned by Mathis all the way to the Arizona 45. At the time the Cards were already up, 17-3, and the Jaguars had a chance to make it a game. But on the play, it turned out Becht tapped Mathis on the rear as Mathis was on the ground, and coach Ken Whisenhunt successfully challenged the play and it was overturned.
"You are in the right spot at the right time," Becht said. "I tend to get to the running backs after they are tackled to help them up, and sometimes that gets me near the ball and I happened to see the ball bouncing a couple times today."
Becht feigned disappointment Whisenhunt didn't challenge the first recovery, in which Becht thought he might have gotten into the end zone. But even after a victory, Whisenhunt clearly wasn't in a joking mood when it came to Wells' fumbles.
"That is something Beanie is going to get an earful about," Whisenhunt said. "During the game, I said, I'll go back to you but you've got to hang on to the ball. He was rolling (but) that is something we have worked on in practice. Trust me, he may be carrying the ball around all day now."
Wells said he needed to thank Becht for helping him out, and Wells did look very good otherwise – gaining 44 yards rushing on his seven carries. But the fumbles likely derailed more playing time.
"I wasn't focused like I should have been," Wells said. "I should have been playing closer attention to the ball and be aware of the circumstances."
ROLLE'S WILD DAY
Antrel Rolle can find the end zone. He's proven that. But he had trouble finding the football against the Jaguars.
The safety's 83-yard touchdown return of a blocked field goal was the most spectacular play of the day. But it was Rolle's botching of two punt returns that stopped his coaches' hearts, one becoming a turnover and the other costing the Cards a final chance to get points at the end of the first half.
"I made a couple of bad decisions," Rolle said.
Both times, Rolle said he couldn't decide whether to fair catch the punt or return it, and in both cases it ended up hitting the ground. The first time, it bounced and hit teammate Greg Toler, and the Jaguars recovered.
"I was mute on that play," Rolle admitted. "I take full responsibility."
The second punt, Rolle had the punt graze off his fingers – Rolle said he definitely touched it – and he had to race back 19 yards and cover it. Steve Breaston went back on punt return the rest of the game. Rolle did say he was clipped early in the game, his knee swelled up (and was still bothering him after) and it made it harder for him to have a burst to get to the ball.
"Antrel does a nice job, but he hasn't gotten a lot of reps," Whisenhunt said. "He needs to understand when you are going to go up and fair catch it and when you're not going to, to give the 'Get away' signal and that's why I went to Steve. I am not down on (Rolle). We will continue to work with him because I do believe he has the talent to (return)."
OKEAFOR SITS BUT SACKS STILL COME
Linebacker Chike Okeafor ended up sitting out with his bad shoulder, but the defense held up despite his absence. Bertrand Berry, who started in Okeafor's place, ended up with his second sack in as many games, as the Cards brought down Jaguars quarterback Davis Garrard four times.
The Cards would have had more – Campbell missed out on one sack, and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett seemed like he was close three or four times – but Garrard had Ben-Roethlisberger-escape type of performance.
"That is one of the best quarterback scramblers in the league, man," Dockett said. "He is the real deal. I'm going to give credit where it's due, they played well. But we played better."
LEVI BROWN RETURNS
The only reported injury after the game was the bad ankle of right tackle Levi Brown, but Brown returned to play after halftime. He will be reevaluated Monday.
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