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Blackout Deadline Extended

Notebook: Boldin returns to practice in limited fashion

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The Cardinals received a 24-hour extension Thursday to sell out their opener against the 49ers and avoid a local TV blackout.
 
 
The Cardinals got a blackout reprieve from the NFL Thursday, when the league extended for 24 hours its deadline to have the game sell out.

Normally, the game must sell out 72 hours in advance for the game to be broadcast locally. Usually the NFL is confident a sellout will occur to extend the deadline. Approximately 1,700 tickets remained as of Thursday afternoon.

"Our fans have always been great about (selling out) and I hope it happens again," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "It's a big advantage for us.

"But we have to be realistic and understand what's going on in the tough economy. I sympathize with those who have lost their jobs. And I truly appreciate everything the fans have done for us."

BOLDIN LIMITED

Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was limited in early work Thursday, and Whisenhunt said the Cards then quickly shut him down so Boldin wouldn't stress his bad hamstring.

"I really don't know where he is at this point," Whisenhunt said. "Hopefully he will continue to improve and we will have a shot of him playing Sunday."

Whisenhunt said Boldin's work was more about making sure where he needed to line up and where he was supposed to be "assignment-wise."

"I think it was a good first step," Whisenhunt said, adding it was possible the Cards won't know until Saturday if Boldin can play.

INJURY REPORT

Still limited Thursday were wide receiver Sean Morey (ribs), wide receiver Early Doucet (ribs) and quarterback Brian St. Pierre (back). Safety Matt Ware (shoulder) and wide receiver Steve Breaston (knee) worked full and Whisenhunt said Breaston looked "good" Wednesday.

IN THE RETURN GAME

The Cardinals' return game for the opener is in flux, in part because Breaston is still coming back from his knee injury and it part because Breaston may have to play more at receiver because of Boldin's issues.

Whisenhunt said if Boldin can't play or can't play a lot, Breaston can't be overused at return man and more importantly, the Cards don't want to expose him to further hits. In all likelihood, safety Antrel Rolle will return punts if Breaston can't, and rookie LaRod Stephens-Howling looks like the probable choice for kickoffs in the same scenario.

Whisenhunt said the best part about the team's return depth is that all of them play positions, rather than strictly being a return specialist.

"I'm not saying I wouldn't want a Devin Hester … a dynamic returner, and I'm not taking anything away from Steve or LaRod or any of those guys," Whisenhunt said. "But I am happy with the group we have doing that."

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