Early Doucet and the Cardinals were feeling strong during Sunday's win, but the physical game made returning to practice Tuesday difficult.
The Cardinals left the University of Phoenix Stadium field around 6:15 p.m. Sunday. By 10:15 a.m. Tuesday they were trickling back on the field for a full practice.
It was a short turnaround considering what the Cards went through in their 51-45 Wild Card win. It was also necessary given their Saturday Divisional playoff game in New Orleans – and necessarily sluggish at times too.
"It wasn't quite as sharp as I wanted to be or we wanted to be but at the same time, you understand that to a small degree," quarterback Kurt Warner said. "You've got to work out kinks and get back in rhythm and still try to recover. We're going to have to get better the next couple of days. I'm sure that will take place."
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the coaches are probably feeling some mental fatigue, but with the players, it is the physical toll from which they need to recover.
"There is some mental fatigue because of the stress with the way the game went," Whisenhunt said. "But there were a lot of plays in the game because there was so much up and down the field. Today was about getting back into it mentally but more so physically."
The Saints have been able to sit back and wait, resting up for this game since their regular-season finale Jan. 3, and even then the Saints didn't play their starters significant time.
"It's been great to get a lot of these guys back and healthy," New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said. "That's the main thing."
The Cardinals are shrugging off any perceived disadvantage.
"Guys are still a little sore but guys understand this is an opportunity of a lifetime," wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. "We might have started slower than we wanted to but the way we finished was really encouraging."
The Cardinals were not required to put out an injury report Tuesday – those will still come Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – but wide receiver Anquan Boldin (ankle, knee) said he was "definitely" feeling optimistic he could play Saturday despite sitting out practice again Tuesday.
"It still doesn't feel as good as I would like it to be," Boldin said. "But there are definite improvements."
Boldin said he is working on his lateral movement. Last week, he said he wasn't able to move at all.
"I will push it as hard as I can and try and get the range of motion back," Boldin added. "I was a big cheerleader Sunday, hoping we'd get one more shot so I could get back out there."
Whisenhunt said, as last week, Boldin will be a wait-and-see situation.
Linebacker Gerald Hayes also had a walking boot on his right foot, apparently after spraining his ankle.
ADAMS' VIEW OF THE END
Cornerback Michael Adams didn't even know his hand had been on the facemask on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the last play of Sunday's game until a friend called and had Adams look at a picture of the play on the website Yahoo.
But Adams is convinced the Cards would have ended up with the ball anyway, even if it had drawn a flag.
"I mean, I feel like, the ball was out," Adams said. "Even if they call the penalty, I'll put my money on our offense either putting it in the end zone or Neil (Rackers) making the kick this time."
Not only did Adams not know where his hand was, he didn't know linebacker Karlos Dansby had grabbed the loose ball and scored.
"I looked up and saw Karlos' feet," Adams said. "I thought he was just celebrating or something. Then I saw him in the end zone."
GRIMM GETS PERMISSION
The Cardinals have officially given permission to the Bills to talk to assistant head coach Russ Grimm about Buffalo's vacant head coaching job. Grimm called the interest "flattering" but an interview still isn't a certainty, especially given the tight time frame the Cards are under this week.
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