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Will Hightower Stay Special?


Whenever Tim Hightower finally becomes starting running back, the Cardinals will have to find replacements for him on some of his special teams duties.

As coach Ken Whisenhunt noted earlier in the week, he would consider starting rookie Tim Hightower at running back over Edgerrin James "at the point we feel Tim gives us the best chance to win."

When that does happen, however, it will mean some shifting for other parts of the Cardinals.

Hightower has been playing on four special teams units. It would be difficult to keep him there if he were elevated to starting running back.

Hightower, not surprisingly, brushed off the idea of the extra work in light of any potential depth-chart change.

"Whenever that time comes, I said when I came here, I would do whatever it took to help this team win," Hightower said. "It doesn't matter who is starting, whether I am getting one carry or 20 carries, whether I am playing special teams, whether I am blocking or catching passes. I am just focused on winning. Whenever (starting) comes, whether it is next week or a year from now or whenever, I will do what I have to do."

Hightower acknowledged the current load of special teams is significant, but added "that's what you get your body in shape for."

"It hasn't been bad not being the starting running back," Hightower said. "Getting six or seven carries a game, my body hasn't worn down. But (special teams) are definitely something mentally you have to prepare for in your mind.

"Hey, at the end of the day, I love playing football and it gets me on the field, so I can't complain."


Since Kurt Warner became a Cardinal, the Cards have not lost in St. Louis. That's 3-0, although technically Warner has started just one game (he played the majority of last year's win after Matt Leinart suffered a season-ending broken collarbone).

That may thrill many in St. Louis, where stadium workers still give Warner standing ovations when he arrives before a game and where many in the crowd still wear Warner Rams jerseys.

"The crowd is probably torn," receiver Anquan Boldin said. "They want to see their Rams but they also want to see Kurt do well. It's kind of funny seeing that. As long as we win, I am all right with it."

Warner said he could "give you a million" memories of his time in St. Louis. The love affair the city has with him is obviously reciprocal. The Rams will also be honoring former coach Dick Vermeil in their Ring of Honor Sunday. Vermeil, who is close with Warner, was Warner's coach when the Rams and Warner won the Super Bowl after the 1999 season.


Three players – wide receivers Early Doucet (groin) and Sean Morey (hamstring), along with cornerback Eric Green (knee) – ended up limited in practice because various injuries cropped up. None are expected serious.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he hoped tight end Ben Patrick (knee) would be able to practice Friday, but Patrick was unable to go Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Whisenhunt said new tight end Stephen Spach had picked up enough with the team that he will be available Sunday if needed.

Contact Darren Urban at Posted 10/30/08.

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