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Richard Sherman And The Three Cardinals

Notes: Seahawks CB might shadow a particular wideout; Ready for rain; Campbell's Seattle success

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The Cardinals have a trio of dangerous wideouts in Michael Floyd (left), John Brown (middle) and Larry Fitzgerald.


Richard Sherman has never been shy about declaring himself the NFL's best cornerback, and the only real mark against him came from not following around the opponent's No. 1 receiver.

In the Seahawks' base scheme, Sherman has traditionally been tasked with guarding a zone, and he's done it superbly. This year, though, he has been branching out more.

He tracked 49ers wideout Torrey Smith two weeks ago and is coming off a game in which he shut down Cowboys star Dez Bryant. The strategy is now part of the Seahawks' defensive repertoire, but it might not make much sense against the Cardinals' trio of Larry Fitzgerald, John "Smokey" Brown and Michael Floyd.

"Who would he follow, though?" Fitzgerald said. "We're all pretty much the same."

Fitzgerald leads the team in catches (55), receiving yards (706) and has seven touchdowns, but he plays the slot while Sherman usually faces an outside receiver. Brown missed last week with a hamstring injury but is healthy now and has transformed himself into a go-to wideout in his second year.

Floyd started slowly after injuring his hand in the preseason but had four catches for 106 yards and a touchdown last time out against the Browns. He's also the guy who caught the game-winning touchdown pass when the Cardinals won 17-10 in Seattle in 2013.

If Sherman does follow one of them around, Fitzgerald is already campaigning not to be the guy.

"I haven't had 1,000 (receiving) yards in three years," Fitzgerald said. "I hope he doesn't follow me. Old, grizzly, washed-up veteran. Go follow Mike or something, or Smoke."

Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said the Cardinals' balance at the position could make it unlikely for Sherman to guard one player, but "we prepare for it all." Sherman said he will be ready for whatever game plan is implemented for Sunday.

"Honestly, from week to week, it differs," Sherman said. "Whatever my responsibility is, they ask different things of me, so I just go out there and try to execute."

RAIN EXPECTED ON GAME DAY IN SEATTLE

It was a gorgeous 72 degrees and sunny during the Cardinals' practice on Thursday afternoon, but there's no chance the conditions will be anywhere close to that this Sunday night in Seattle.

A high of 47 and low of 39 degrees is expected on game day, with an 80 percent chance of rain. For a team that likes

to throw downfield as much as the Cardinals, it poses a challenge, although coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer said they're ready for it.

"It hasn't bothered Carson," Arians said of rainy conditions. "He's a good wet ball thrower. Last week, we were soaking balls down and they look like they're dry to him. He's got big hands and it doesn't affect him."

Palmer's days in the AFC North with the Bengals included many games played in inclement weather.

"The only negative is that we don't practice in rain, but we practice wet ball drills all the time and we'll continue to do that to prepare," Palmer said.

CARDINALS HOPING FOR ANOTHER BIG DAY FROM CAMPBELL

Last week, Arians brought up his displeasure with Calais Campbell's inability to dominate games every week. The Cardinals' Pro Bowl defensive tackle is fourth on the team with 43 tackles and third with 10 tackles for loss, but has only 1½ sacks through eight games, which is on pace for his lowest total since his rookie season.

Then again, Campbell hasn't yet played the Seahawks. He's excelled against them historically, with 11 sacks in 14 career games, including 10 in seven appearances at CenturyLink Field.

"I don't know what it is," Campbell said. "I guess because the crowd's so loud, you try to get in there and quiet them a little bit."

TRUST IN BOTH CENTERS

The only injury drama for the Cardinals remains at center. Lyle Sendlein (shoulder) practiced in a limited capacity for a second straight day but is still iffy for the game. The coaching staff continues to speak well of backup A.Q. Shipley.

"I don't think there's any difference in the two, myself," Goodwin said. "A.Q. started most of the preseason. A.Q. has been around me since Pittsburgh. He knows what I want. He knows what I like to have out of my players. And he's just as good of a communicator as Lyle, so whoever is out there, I'm satisfied with and I'm ready to go."

Brown (hamstring), wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin) and cornerback Jerraud Powers (hamstring) were also limited for the Cardinals.

For the Seahawks, defensive end Michael Bennett (non-injury-related) didn't practice while tight end Luke Willson (toe) was upgraded to full participation.

Images from past matchups between the Cardinals and this week's opponent, the Seahawks



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