Cardinals head athletic trainer John Omohundro helps quarterback Kurt Warner try on an elbow brace during practice Wednesday.
The ligaments are torn in his left elbow, and the pain he can feel with certain movements is beyond excruciating.
But Kurt Warner is keeping a sense of humor as he sees if it's possible he could miraculously play this weekend in Washington after ripping up his elbow against Carolina.
"If we could throw every down," the right-handed Cardinals quarterback said, knowing coach Ken Whisenhunt was within earshot, "I'd probably be all right."
The mere fact Warner was able to practice Wednesday – albeit limited – was surprising given his injury.
What it means for the Redskins game, at least at this point, is a little bit of chaos.
Whisenhunt emphasized that Warner's status wouldn't be known until probably the weekend, and certainly not before the Cardinals made it through their week of practices. In the meantime, the coaches are still trying to teach Tim Rattay (who remains the probable starter) and newcomer Tim Hasselbeck the offense.
It may make it tougher for the Redskins to plan, but that certainly isn't the reason for the unsettled position.
"Maybe we will go with the three-quarterback platoon, and see if we can get that to work," Whisenhunt said. "It's not so much gamesmanship as it is we have we have to find a guy we are comfortable with what we can do.
"We are not afraid to put a player in there if he fits a role for us and that's what this week is about. To see what Kurt can do, to see if there is something he can do for us in a game. After that, we have to make a decision with the two Tims. I wish we had a clear decision, to be honest with you."
Rattay feels better in the offense, which will help his cause. And Hasselbeck has some familiarity with the offense, Whisenhunt said, which allows Hasselbeck to be a little further along than Rattay was a week ago.
Whisenhunt said the offense, no matter who is playing quarterback, will remained scaled back. That will help the new quarterbacks, after Rattay was thrown into the Panthers game with a game plan built around a then-healthy Warner.
"You are standing back there and the defense isn't taking it easy on you because you are new," Hasselbeck said.
Nor will the Redskins take it easy on Warner because he is hurting.
Warner is trying a variety of braces on his left elbow in an attempt to limit the movement. Gripping the ball, he said, is not a problem. Handing it off causes "discomfort," especially with his left arm.
But stabilizing the arm is crucial and the first step in making Warner's availability possible.
"There is pain and there are things that go beyond pain that kind of take over the body," Warner said. "You get it torqued in a certain way it just kind of shuts you down."
Warner said doctors have assured him that he can't get injured further by playing – "I am smart enough, and my wife probably wouldn't let me otherwise, to have the bases covered," he said – assuming he can find the right brace. Warner also wants to play.
But he won't be foolish about it, not with the bye coming the following week. He also knows his practice efforts will go a long way in determining both his and the coaches' confidence in putting him on the field.
Whisenhunt acknowledged that as a veteran, Warner doesn't need a lot of reps in practice before playing.
That's what will make the decision whether or not to play Warner difficult.
"It is a tough situation," receiver Anquan Boldin said. "It is a situation you don't want to be in but it's the situation we are in. It just puts the onus on the guys around (the quarterback), because we need to make plays."
Contact Darren Urban at email@example.com. Posted 10/17/07