Matt Leinart, talking here with Anquan Boldin during the game in Tennessee, split the first-team reps with Kurt Warner at practice Wednesday.
Kurt Warner still plans on playing Sunday against Minnesota, and he is still declining to say for sure he will be able to do so given his lingering effects after his concussion.
So, despite Warner again saying he felt better and declaring that the "fogginess" he was experiencing in his eyes was gone, coach Ken Whisenhunt split the first-team practice repetitions Wednesday between Warner and Matt Leinart "50-50."
"Obviously this week we are erring to Matt's side just to make sure he can be prepared," Whisenhunt said.
Warner said a trip to the ophthalmologist Monday proved his eyes are "fine." He wasn't sure when or even if he was going to have any further tests, only that his health would continue to be monitored daily.
That makes it difficult on the Cardinals, although Whisenhunt said he was hopeful the Cards would have a better handle on what they will have by the end of the week and not have it turn into a game-day decision as it was in Tennessee.
"From a standpoint from the want-to-know factor and having a clear plan for what to expect, you always want to know," Whisenhunt said. "But you understand in this situation, there is no clear way of knowing right now. You just have to prepare."
Whisenhunt said Leinart's performance against the Titans made things easier, but Leinart acknowledged he was glad to be getting more practice work.
"It helps a lot," Leinart said. "This position is all about experience, seeing things and making throws. And practice is where you can correct things and be ready to not make those mistakes Sunday. It's just nice to have more reps. It's a simple thing."
Then again, it may be a moot point. Warner again cautioned it was a day-to-day situation and he thought he was going to play in Tennessee when he didn't. But he sounded more confident Wednesday he would be back against the Vikings than he had at any time last week.
"I like my chances to play," Warner said. "I'm very optimistic, with what I feel right now and where I am and how I am improving. I don't want to give anybody a false impression. I don't want to make any statements that I'm definitely going to be out there. But I'm progressing and believing I'm going to be there Sunday night."
CONCUSSION STATEMENT ADOPTED
The NFL officially released a new concussion statement Wednesday that changes the guidelines for players – like Warner – who suffer a concussion. At the heart is the concept that any player who suffers a concussion "should not return to play or practice on the same time if he shows signs or symptoms of a concussion."
The rest of the statement reads: "Once removed for the duration of a practice or game, the player should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant. A critical element of managing concussions is candid reporting by players of their symptoms following an injury. Accordingly, players are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion."
Linebacker Karlos Dansby is dealing with two sore shoulders, both of which he said are slightly separated. Dansby was limited Wednesday.
"He seems to be doing well," Whisenhunt said, noting the Cards did not have contact Wednesday.
Dansby said he's fighting through pain to play, but it's been difficult thanks to his teammates.
Dansby said it was a hit from defensive tackle Darnell Dockett during a play against Seattle that originally got him hurt. And it was defensive end Calais Campbell that crashed into Dansby late in the Tennessee game that left Dansby on the ground in agony, forcing him to the sideline for good.
"If I avoid my own guys," Dansby said, "I'll be OK."
Tackle Mike Gandy (pelvis) sat out practice, meaning veteran Jeremy Bridges – who played left tackle in a game that counted Sunday for the first time in his NFL career – was running with the first team.
"I think he understands what it takes to play left tackle," Whisenhunt said of Bridges. "Getting a good week of work would make you feel a lot more comfortable."
Tight end Stephen Spach, who hasn't played in two games, still ended up missing practice with a sore knee. Linebacker Will Davis, who remains out after knee surgery, said he is progressing fine and has no doubt he will return this season.
Besides Dansby, four other players were limited: cornerback Bryant McFadden (knee), running back Tim Hightower (thumb), defensive end Kenny Iwebema (thumb) and kicker Neil Rackers (groin) were all limited. All five limited players are expected to be available Sunday.
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