After losing a fifth straight game in Green Bay, the Cardinals will take a few days off with the bye this weekend.
The Cardinals didn't exactly have a jailbreak for the exit when Wednesday's final practice of the week finished (about 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled.) There was post-practice weightlifting and besides, there just wasn't urgency to bail. But there was definitely a feeling that a few days off will benefit a team suffering through a five-game losing streak.
"Obviously everyone's on edge with the way everything is going," quarterback John Skelton said. "But I think it will be nice to have guys get away from it and come back kind of refreshed."
Players are off through Sunday. They return to the field Monday.
"The bye week couldn't have come at a better time," linebacker Reggie Walker said. "I think we all as a group have to get our minds back together. I know we will. We had some good work the past two days. I know these guys really want to win. There's not a feeling guys are giving up. We just need a couple days off."
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he would take the weekend for his own down time but his office wasn't suddenly going to be locked up.
"We've still got a lot of work to do as far as looking at what we are doing, looking at some ideas to try and get better going over the back half of the season," Whisenhunt said.
Whisenhunt has already said he will considering making lineup changes as the Cardinals try to notch a victory.
BEANIE BACK ON THE FIELD
The wait ended for running back Beanie Wells Wednesday when he returned to the practice field for the first time since tearing ligaments in his toe. His wide smile was proof enough of his excitement.
"The only rust factor is with the joints and the muscles getting loose," Wells said. "It's getting used to cutting and things like that. But other than that, the toe felt good, knee felt great."
His current absence – Wells will end up missing seven games by the time he can play Nov. 25, more than he had missed total his first three years in the NFL – has been frustrating.
"It sucks," Wells said. "This is a performance-based business. When you can't go out and perform and put tape on film, good tape on film, it's just sets you back. I want to perform and play well for the team. I want to get us going, rack up some wins."
Whisenhunt has said he doesn't see putting rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley in yet, but the coach said the sixth-round pick is doing what he needs to do to learn the NFL game.
"The thing that's most impressive about him is mentally how prepared that he is," Whisenhunt said. "It's different when you get out there and have to execute it, but at least he knows the mechanics of it. He calls the play, understands what he's trying to do. He just needs to get reps to get a feel for it. This is why these two days were good. He got a lot of reps in these last two practices."