Quarterback Kurt Warner, who suffered a concussion on this play in St. Louis during a completion, practiced full Wednesday and plans to play Sunday.
Officially, Kurt Warner and the Cardinals are taking his recovery from a concussion day-by-day.
But Warner passed all his tests Tuesday after getting hurt in St. Louis, and he practiced without limits Wednesday. Barring any setbacks, it would be hard to believe Warner won't be in the starting lineup – his 42nd straight start, including postseason games – when the Cards play in Tennessee Sunday.
"We're going to make sure everything is perfect but yeah, I'm planning on it," Warner acknowledged.
"The next stage is to see how he responds," coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
Warner admitted he's being more cautious for a multitude of reasons. As an older player, he is thinking of life beyond football. He also said the recent concussion issues with teammate Sean Morey – an advocate for smarter concussion decisions, yet a player who ended up playing a game with a concussion in Chicago – also has affected his thinking.
The concussion topic certainly has grown in profile this season in the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell has outlined some changes for how teams treat the problem, to the point where there will eventually be an independent neurologist at every game.
"As a player you know it's out there and people are discussing it and looking into more," Warner said. "I can't tell you that five years ago, eight years ago, that I sit out the second half of the game at St. Louis. I don't know if I make that decision because for the most part, I felt good, I felt clear."
Warner, who reiterated he last had a concussion in 2003, said he just wants to make the right decision and will be honest. Warner even tried out a new helmet Wednesday, but he said he didn't feel right in it and if he can't get it to fit right, he'll stick with his current headgear.
Whisenhunt called it a "dilemma" having to balance Warner's situation and trying to have backup Matt Leinart prepared just in case.
"Kurt wants to get his reps and you want to get the timing down and it's been working for us," Whisenhunt said. "You just have to be more aware of Matt. But I think Matt was ready last week and I am certain he'll be ready this week if he has to play."
The Titans are preparing as if Warner will start. "Both Matt and Kurt are very similar so it's not as if they are going to come in and do different things if one plays and not the other," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.
Regardless of how he practiced, Warner's tone was of a man who really will judge his status each day. He's long been defiant about when he has been injured, but even the idea of making a 42nd straight start isn't going to influence him.
"Hey, I'm more worried about winning a championship than the number of starts I have," Warner said.
DAVIS OUT, BEISEL RETURNS
Tuesday's signing of veteran linebacker Monty Beisel was brought into focus Wednesday when Whisenhunt said rookie linebacker Will Davis was out four-to-six weeks after having surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.
"That's disappointing because he was really starting to pick up his game," Whisenhunt said. "But hopefully we'll get him back."
The Cardinals did get linebacker Chike Okeafor on the practice field – albeit on a limited basis – for the first time in a couple of weeks. But with Davis down and Okeafor and fellow starters Gerald Hayes (back) and Karlos Dansby (shoulder) still limited, Beisel was essential.
"I feel like I just left yesterday," said Beisel, who was part of the Cards' Super Bowl team last season before signing with Kansas City as a free agent. "It makes it easier of a transition."
Beisel was cut by the Chiefs after three games. Driving home to Los Angeles, he stopped in Arizona to take a physical, hoping to work something out with the Cardinals. But he wasn't needed until the rash of injury at linebacker.
"This is where I always wanted to be," Beisel said. "It was like déjà vu, riding a bike going back into meetings. It's the same stuff. Seems like I picked right back up where I left off."
So much so that, as he was walking into the locker room Wednesday after practice, Beisel absent-mindedly wandered toward his old locker stall instead of his new one across the room. His old stall's tenant? Davis.
Cornerback Bryant McFadden (knee) was limited, but Whisenhunt said he expected McFadden to be OK. Also limited Wednesday were T Mike Gandy (pelvis), K Neil Rackers (groin), DE Kenny Iwebema (thumb) and WR Steve Breaston (knee).
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009 06:32 AM