Tackles Brandon Keith (72) and Levi Brown (75) may have to deal with healthy New York defensive end this weekend against the Giants.
Osi Umenyiora will be back for the New York Giants, in all probability, although Justin Tuck may not.
Whatever the combination of high-profile pass rushers the Giants bring to University of Phoenix Stadium, however, the Cardinals – and tackles Brandon Keith and Levi Brown – understand what it means.
"I look at it not like, 'Ooh, they are coming back because they think they can get off this game,' " Keith said. "I look at it more like, 'Hey this (Cards)team is a decent team and it's a good time for me to try to return.'
"You hear about playing good guys like that, it's nothing but motivation."
Umenyiora has been dealing with a sore knee. If he plays, it will be his first game of the season. Tuck has a sore neck and groin, and while he has been playing, he has yet to practice this week. They, along with the entire defensive line, will be a test for the Cards' protections and blocking, especially with as much as quarterback Kevin Kolb was pressured last week in Seattle.
Keith said it's been "little stuff" that has hurt the protection scheme – namely miscommunications when the tackle expected help from a chip block and it never came, or when the blocker was supposed to be one-on-one but mistakenly expected help.
"For the most part, (the tackles) have been consistent in their play," Whisenhunt said. "As with any position, they have missed a couple of blocks but for what we have asked them to do – run-game-wise, protection-wise, especially with some of the matchups, I think they have done a good job.
"I thought they held up. That's not to say they are there, but I believe it is a solid start for both of them."
HEAP TRIES TO FORGET ABOUT HIT
Tight end Todd Heap was back to full practice Thursday after he was limited Wednesday with some ribs soreness – a result, in part, from the hellacious early-game hit Heap took from Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor during an interception return (that was negated because of another penalty).
Heap was down on the ground for a few minutes. Officially, he left the game because he had the wind knocked out of him. He return to have a team-high six receptions, and said he was "pretty much over" the blast that drew a unnecessary roughness call for Chancellor because of recent rules changes.
"I guess it's football and you always have to expect the unexpected," Heap said. "I can't comment on (the rules), I'd just get in trouble."
Heap said "I wasn't feeling great" coming out of the game but it wasn't the first time he had been blindsided. "It was a little bit worse than I have had in the past but should be ready to go this week," Heap said.
Heap also slipped in another comment: "We play them again."
BEANIE CONFIDENT, STILL LIMITED
Running back Beanie Wells did more at practice Thursday, even "opening it up" a little to test his bad left hamstring, but he was still limited. Saying he has never had a hamstring injury before, Wells is expecting to be able to play Sunday.
"It sucks, but it's a hamstring – what are you going to do about it," Wells said. "I couldn't have avoided it in any type of way.
"I sat out last week to make sure I'd be safe for this week."
Whisenhunt said he was "optimistic" Wells would be able to play.
Aside from Wells and Heap, running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hand) also returned to full practice. Remaining limited were linebacker Paris Lenon (groin) and wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (hamstring), while tight end Jim Dray (pectoral) remained unable to practice.