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What's Best For The Team

Notebook: Decisions -- including Boldin's status -- are based on single thought

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Wide receiver Anquan Boldin gets up after the reception Sunday that made him the top pass catcher in franchise history.
 
 
On the subject of Anquan Boldin and his sore ankle, coach Ken Whisenhunt was clear Wednesday: "We always try to make the decision that's in the best interest of the team."

The Pro Bowl receiver didn't practice, and after he has not been able to finish the last two games – Sunday against Carolina because the ankle took a shot during the game and was re-injured – the question becomes whether sitting him down in the short term will help him and the team more long term.

"I think Anquan knows we feel he's a tough player," Whisenhunt said. "Everyone knows that. Week in and week out, we are trying to make decisions that best help this team win. That's it, bottom line. There is no other agenda."

Boldin admits his situation is frustrating but in some ways, inevitable.

"Every time you play you want to be 100 percent," Boldin said. "But it's football and that's not going to happen."

If Boldin were to sit out, Steve Breaston would become the No. 2 receiver and while Jerheme Urban would be No. 3 on the depth chart, it is likely Urban and Early Doucet would be interchangeable as the No. 3 depending on the packages the Cardinals used.

Boldin acknowledged he probably won't know if he is going to play until game day. Whether he thinks he can contribute and whether it's judged that he ultimately can may not necessarily reconcile. Quarterback Kurt Warner said every player deals with such a situation at some point.

"You always feel you give your team a better chance when you are out there," Warner said. "I think sometimes you feel like you can do more and are in better shape than maybe you are. You convince yourself of that. We have all been there before."

LIVING IN THE PASSED?

The Cardinals aren't getting the big plays this season as much as last season, but even then the details are crucial. The Cards' deep game may have not worked any better than in the postseason, and that's what was on display for everyone to see.

"It was the playoff run where we had a lot of things go in our favor," Warner said. "I don't know if it was necessarily that way game in and game out last year. I just think that's what everybody remembers.  … Although we want a lot more of those, I don't think that's how we have to be successful."

Whisenhunt noted the Cardinals have opened four of their seven games with extended touchdown drives. "That's not easy to do," he said. "There are some positives (in the offense)."

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said he does feel like he is working in "tighter quarters" in the secondary, which limits big plays after the catch.

"But when I get my hands on the ball, I have to do something with it," Fitzgerald said.

A LENGTHY INJURY REPORT 

Boldin wasn't the only player hurting Wednesday. Linebacker Gerald Hayes (back) and defensive end Darnell Dockett (ankle) also sat out, although Dockett said "the only way I'm going to miss a game is if I can't walk." Both he and Whisenhunt expect Dockett back at practice before the week is out.

Five players were limited, including three with holdover injuries: safety Antrel Rolle (foot), receiver Steve Breaston (knee) and defensive end Kenny Iwebema (knee). Receiver Sean Morey was limited with an illness, while kicker Neil Rackers was limited with a right hamstring strain.
Tight end Stephen Spach (ankle) finally returned to practice full.

For the Bears, receiver Devin Hester (ankle) didn't practice and six players – including tight end Greg Olsen (ankle) and defensive starters Lance Briggs (shoulder), Tommie Harris (knee) and Adewale Ogunleye (ankle) were all limited.

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