Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson (let) talks with Rams running back Todd Gurley after Sunday's game.
Adrian Peterson was still sidelined Wednesday with his neck injury, and coach Bruce Arians said the return of the veteran running back was about "really, just time. Time and doctors."
Arians didn't have a lot of details about the issue that kept Peterson out of last weekend's game against the Rams. On Peterson's final carry of the game against the Jaguars two weeks ago, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus had a hold of Peterson's left ankle long enough to keep Peterson in place in the middle of traffic. Safety Tashaun Gipson was able to meet Peterson just as Dareus let go, a stalemate that looked harsh when linebacker Paul Posluszny drilled Peterson from behind.
Peterson's head went straight into the ground, bending his neck. Peterson came out, but he returned for two more plays – blocking on a pass play and then making a seven-yard reception.
In Peterson's place last week, Kerwynn Williams had 97 yards on 16 carries despite playing with two
cracked ribs, also suffered against Jacksonville.
"You want to do whatever you can to help the team win," Williams said Wednesday. "At that time, the playoffs were still pretty big, so anything you can do to contribute to that, it's huge.
"I know my opportunities are few and far between to begin with, but I never think of it selfishly that way. I'm more about helping my teammates the best I can."
Even with a few good games from Peterson and last week's performance from Williams, the Cardinals are last in the NFL with 76.6 yards rushing per game. The Titans are third in the NFL in rush defense, allowing just 86.2 yards a game. Peterson or no, running will be a challenge this week.
As for Williams coming close but not reaching 100 yards last week – he had 86 yards at halftime – Williams shrugged it off.
"I'm bummed about the loss more than anything," Williams said. "If I asked how many yards Walter Payton had in the Super Bowl, no one can tell you that. But they can tell you he won."
BREWER AS LONG SNAPPER, AND FLAGS MISSED ON BLOCKED KICKS
Long snapper Aaron Brewer, on injured reserve after breaking his arm, was back at practice Wednesday and Arians said he could come off IR and play as soon as this week. It's an interesting development,
given that current snapper Justin Drescher appeared on the injury report as limited with a shoulder problem.
With Brewer practicing, it officially uses one of the Cardinals' two return-from-IR spots this season.
It's also notable after the Rams blocked two kicks through Drescher Sunday – although Arians said the league told him both should've been penalties because Drescher was defenseless.
"After I talked to the league, no, they are not (legal)," Arians said, after he had said Monday he thought they were legal. "They should've all been penalized. Even the ones that weren't blocked should've been penalized. It was very disappointing, and when I talked to league officials – especially when I saw the Kansas City-Jets game, the exact same play was penalized."
VELDHEER SITS OUT PRACTICE, BUCANNON RETURNS
Among the players sitting out practice Wednesday was left tackle Jared Veldheer (elbow). Arians said the injury was day-to-day. If Veldheer would not be able to play Sunday, rookie Will Holden would replace him – which would put backup tackles on both sides. John Wetzel is already playing on the right side.
Linebacker Deone Bucannon (ankle) was able to return to practice limited.
Joining Veldheer and Peterson not practicing Wednesday were wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (vet day), defensive lineman Frostee Rucker (vet day), linebacker Karlos Dansby (vet day), defensive lineman Corey Peters (ankle), wide receiver John Brown (toe) and safety Rudy Ford (knee).
Besides Bucannon, Williams and Drescher, wide receiver Jaron Brown (knee), defensive lineman Josh Mauro (ankle), wide receiver J.J. Nelson (knee), tight end Troy Niklas (hip/knee), cornerback Patrick Peterson (hamstring) and center A.Q. Shipley (shoulder) were limited.
For the Titans, linebacker Derrick Morgan (knee), cornerback Logan Ryan (concussion) and tight end Delanie Walker (ankle) didn't practice. Wide receiver Rishard Matthews (hamstring) was limited.
Images of the impressive first-half grab by J.J. Nelson against the Rams