Wide receiver Anquan Boldin, here in his most recent game against the New York Jets, will wait until the end of the week before determining if he will play Sunday.
Anquan Boldin remains friends with former Cardinals quarterback Josh McCown, and so McCown – now a backup in Carolina -- delivered this little bit of insight to Panthers starting quarterback Jake Delhomme.
"I'd be 100 percent shocked if Anquan isn't on the field Sunday," Delhomme said, "because Josh said, 'I promise you he will be on the field.' "
It's not yet that simple for Boldin, the Cardinals' star receiver who is recovering from facial surgery following a nasty hit in New York almost a month ago. While Boldin had the wires removed Tuesday afternoon that had helped set his jaw and the doctor cleared him medically, Boldin was limited in practice Wednesday.
Both he and coach Ken Whisenhunt said the determination whether Boldin would play in Carolina wouldn't come until later in the week. Whisenhunt said it was "premature" to say anything concrete Wednesday.
"I have been talking to Josh all week and he has been kind of messing with me about it," Boldin said with a chuckle. "He's been telling me to stay out one more week and come back next week.
"I just told him we'll see."
Boldin said he would take the week one day at a time and "hopefully everything plays out to my liking." Boldin added he head-butted teammate Steve Breaston, just to get a sense of how a hit to the head would feel.
Nevertheless, Boldin insisted he wasn't afraid of dealing with a bad hit in the game,
"My feeling is, if it is going to happen, it's going to happen," Boldin said. "I can't go the whole game worrying about it.
Boldin was in good spirits. He talked about sneaking back to weightlifting a couple of days before he was supposed to, just because he wanted to get back to work. He joked about craving a steak from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, since he can't eat one just yet.
He impressed both Whisenhunt and quarterback Kurt Warner on the field as well.
"I don't know how he felt," Warner said, "but he looked good."
The wires are out – Boldin said they normally are left in for six weeks instead of the three he had them in for -- although the eight plates in Boldin's face are permanent. Even for someone itching to play like Boldin, patience this week will guide the decision to play Sunday.
"The body will let you know if you can go," Boldin said. "Your body will also let you know if you can't."
The two starting quarterbacks Sunday were once teammates in Amsterdam.
Warner and Delhomme played for NFL Europe's Amsterdam Admirals in 1998. Warner won the starting job, much to Delhomme's chagrin.
"I respect players around the National Football League but there aren't too many more I respect than Kurt.," Delhomme said. (But) when I went over to NFL Europe I thought I was going to go and play and here I am backing up a 26-year-old Arena (Football League) quarterback with the Iowa Barnstormers. I thought, 'How am I going to play in the NFL if I can't beat out an Arena quarterback?'
"What it did for me, it gave me great confidence the following year when he took St. Louis over and took the NFL by storm."
Warner smiled when he heard Delhomme's version of events.
"I think I just got him when he was a little bit younger and he hadn't quite figured it out yet," Warner said. "He's a great guy and I had so much fun with him. I knew it was my last (NFL) chance, but I knew he was going to have a good career."
Four players sat out practice for the Cardinals Wednesday – tight end Leonard Pope (ankle), defensive end/linebacker Travis LaBoy (groin), safety Aaron Francisco (thigh) and tight end Ben Patrick (knee). Pope is still favoring the ankle he hurt during a practice in Washington, D.C. prior to the Jets game, although he has yet to miss a game.
A pair of starting Carolina offensive linemen – center Ryan Kalil and tackle Jeff Otah – each missed practice because of ankle sprains.
Contact Darren Urban at email@example.com. Posted 10/22/08.