Quarterback Kevin Kolb looks over plays on the sideline with fullback Anthony Sherman on the sidelines of the game in St. Louis last weekend.
Kevin Kolb took every practice rep Wednesday, and looked rather relieved afterward to have done so.
"This whole time, (the injury) is all (the media) has asked about, so I'm ready to talk about some defenses and hopefully some great plays after Sunday," said the quarterback, who, after missing four straight games with a turf toe and bone bruise on his right foot, should finally return to the starting lineup Sunday against Dallas.
"I have full intentions of playing," Kolb said.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt wouldn't go that far, not when he still wants to be cautious and see how Kolb's foot reacts Thursday morning for all the extra work. But Whisenhunt reiterated he was "optimistic" Kolb would be ready and by now, it would be an upset to not have him able to be on the field.
Kolb "really stressed" the toe and foot in practice, Whisenhunt said.
"You try to do it in drill work or some of the plays in practice, but when it is full speed in the game, you just don't know," Whisenhunt added. "It's very hard to simulate."
Kolb said he was pain free "for the most part" and lauded how crisp the offensive practice was, considering he hadn't been out there much previously. Kolb admitted he doesn't know if the time away will help his game, with which he was struggling before the injury.
It is fitting Kolb would return against the Cowboys, a team for whom he grew up rooting as a boy in Texas. Kolb said he was a fan of former quarterback Troy Aikman, whom Kolb now knows.
"It'll be fun," Kolb said. "It will be a true test for us."
As for Kolb's own expectations, he had talked previous about the rust he will inevitably feel. Analyzing the situation, however, he doesn't know if he has to do a lot anyway.
"The way I think our defense and run game is going, you look back at a lot of the games, if us as quarterbacks just did our part, took care of the ball and played a good solid game, we would have won quite of few of them," Kolb said. "So that's my mentality."
Running back Beanie Wells was able to work on a limited basis Wednesday after taking a beating on his knee during Sunday's big game.
"He's sore, which, after everything he went through Sunday, with that many carries and his knee bent back, (was expected)," Whisenhunt said. "But it was good to see him out here. I think he is in the mindset he will push through it. That's what we needed him to do and I have a lot of respect for him doing it."
Also limited for the Cards was tight end Todd Heap (hamstring) and cornerback Michael Adams (hamstring). But the Cardinals did get tight end Rob Housler (groin) back full-time today, and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (shoulder) also practiced full.
Linebacker Joey Porter (knee surgery) and safety Kerry Rhodes (foot surgery) still have yet to return.
For the Cowboys, wide receiver Miles Austin, who has been targeting the Arizona game for his return from a hamstring injury, did not practice. But coach Jason Garrett said he was hopeful Austin could do some work Thursday.
JOHNSON MOVES UP, WILLIAMS WAITS
Whisenhunt said the choice to promote wide receiver Jaymar Johnson from the practice squad was a reward for hard work and to see if Johnson can do anything against live competition.
"We had the spot and we thought we would take an opportunity to look at him," Whisenhunt said.
In the meantime, wide receiver Stephen Williams has been on the active roster but inactive for all but two games this season. Asked about the Johnson move, Williams admitted he is frustrated but declined to say anything else. "Sometimes," Williams said, "that's how the cookie crumbles."
PETERSON PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Rookie punt returner Patrick Peterson received yet another honor Wednesday when he was named the NFC's special teams player of the month, a day after getting his second special teams player of the week award.
Peterson had two returns for scores in November, averaging 16.9 yards on 16 returns. His 271 yards were the most punt return yards in a month in the NFL this season. Peterson is the first Card to win a player of the month award since kicker Neil Rackers did it twice during the 2005 season.