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With Boldin Out, Breaston Up

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With Anquan Boldin out after surgery, the Cardinals are counting on Steve Breaston to perform as their No. 2 receiver.

Anquan Boldin underwent a surgical procedure Thursday evening to repair the s fractured facial bone caused by the hit he took in New York last week.

The Cardinals' Pro Bowl receiver is now out against Buffalo Sunday and is no sure thing to play against Dallas the following week – meaning Steve Breaston is now the Cards' No. 2 receiver.

"This is just like any other week for me, to be honest," Breaston said. "When the ball comes my way, I have to make a play, be a reliable resource for Kurt (Warner)."

Breaston, who had career-highs in catches (nine) and yards (122) last week against the Jets as the Cards threw it constantly, will have to live with a week-to-week knowledge of his status. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Boldin's surgery, performed by oral/maxillofacial specialist Dr. Reed Day of Phoenix, "went well."

"They thought it was best to go ahead and do it and in order to get (Anquan) back as quickly as possible," Whisenhunt said, adding the doctor told Boldin a hockey player who had the same procedure played in a game 10 days later.

The Cardinals have a bye the weekend after the Dallas game, which may play into the desire for Boldin to wait a little longer in his return.

His absence will put more pressure on fellow Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald and more attention from the defense as well. Breaston will be No. 2, with the Cards using Jerheme Urban as No. 3 and likely using rookie Early Doucet for the first time.

"Obviously the (learning) curve has to speed up a little bit with Q down for a while, but we have complete confidence in (Steve) and the other guys that they will step in and do a great job," Warner said.

WILSON QUESTIONABLE

Safety Adrian Wilson (hamstring) and defensive end Bertrand Berry (groin) did not practice Friday but Whisenhunt did not rule them out Sunday, saying both would be game-day decisions. Wilson is officially questionable, while Berry is listed as doubtful.

Defensive tackle Gabe Watson (knee) will finally play his first game of the season Sunday.

"You get a good feel from practice and I didn't see any hesitation from him," Whisenhunt said.

THE OTHER SIDE

Wilson was thankful Boldin was OK after the huge hit Boldin took in New York. Wilson has been on the delivery end of his share of huge hits over the years, and he understands the power he wields.

"For me, if I can make a play on the football, I'm going to make a play on the football," Wilson said. "But if I know if I can't make a play on the football, there's going to be some type of collision."

Wilson was penalized last season for what was called a blow to the head against Baltimore tight end Todd Heap. Wilson was later exonerated from any wrongdoing and was not fined because replays showed Wilson hit Heap shoulder to shoulder.

"I don't ever try to use my head," Wilson said. "Go back and look at all the hits I've been fined for, it's never been helmet to helmet. I've always used my shoulder pad or me using my body against a receiver, never been my head. Mentally I can't do it because I want to be able to communicate with my kids when I get older."

Wilson sounded somewhat sympathetic to fellow defensive backs walking the line between big hit and dirty play.

"It's all a split second," Wilson said.

PREPPING EDWARDS

While the Cardinals continue to hope former No. 1 draft pick Matt Leinart eventually develops into their starter, the Bills have already turned 2007 third-round pick Trent Edwards into their leader.

Edwards has a passer rating of 93.5, with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He isn't feared as a passer like Kurt Warner can be, but he has managed the game exactly how coach Dick Jauron wanted – which is why he surpassed former No. 1 pick J.P. Losman on the depth chart.

"There is a different pressure relief being selected in the third round and not getting the bigger signing bonus," Edwards said. "You're not expected to be in there as soon as the first- and second-rounders. I was pretty motivated by that.

"I wanted to come in here and prove to myself I belonged in this league."

EXTRA POINTS

Tight end Leonard Pope (ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis. Guard Elton Brown, who came out of Thursday's workout after hurting his elbow, returned to practice full. …

Top Buffalo cornerback Terrence McGee, who hurt his knee last week, is officially listed as doubtful but he is not expected to play. Defensive linemen Marcus Stroud (shoulder) and Aaron Schobel (foot) are both listed questionable, but both are expected to play.


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 10/3/08.

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