Game Notes: Cardinals @ Rams

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PLAYER NOTES
--WR Larry Fitzgerald has practiced fully all week and said he will be able to take all the snaps against the Rams on Sunday. Fitzgerald missed most of the preseason with a sprained MCL.

--WR Steve Breaston could return punts, but Whisenhunt also is considering rookies Max Komar and Andre Roberts, also receivers. Breaston has experience and Whisenhunt might feel comfortable with him, especially on the road.

--CB Trumaine McBride, beaten out for the starting right cornerback job, is learning to be the nickel and dime cornerback. Michael Adams could fill that role, too.

--RB Jason Wright hasn't practiced this week because of turf toe but is moving around well. He is a smart veteran who could play without much practice.

--NT Dan Williams, the first-round pick, isn't likely to start but he will probably split time with Bryan Robinson.

--RB LaRod Stephens-Howling should be a bigger part of the offense this season, especially with Beanie Wells (knee) now listed as doubtful for this week -- and perhaps more. Whisenhunt will use him more in passing situations than he did last year, when Stephens-Howling was a rookie.

--NT Bryan Robinson has held on to his starting job despite the drafting of Dan Williams in the first round. Both will play Sunday and Gabe Watson might be active, too, because he plays on special teams.


GAME PLAN: The Cardinals have run the ball well against the Rams the last three years, but that's mostly because they get a big lead and pound away.

The Cardinals' offensive strength is still in the passing game, and the team would be foolish to get away from it.

Defensively, the Cardinals will try to bring all kinds of pressure against QB Sam Bradford. The Rams' receivers aren't good so the Cardinals could take their chances in single coverage.


MATCHUPS TO WATCH: OLB Joey Porter vs. LT Rodger Saffold: A second-round pick out of Indiana, Saffold is playing in his first game. Porter is 33 but still has pass rush skills and could be a problem for the Rams on QB Sam Bradford's blind side.

Rams LDE Chris Long vs. Cardinals RT Brandon Keith: Long showed great development in the latter part of the 2009 season. Keith is making his first start in three years.


INJURY IMPACT: RB Beanie Wells (knee) missed four days of practice with a bruised knee and is considered doubtful. That means more work for backup LaRod Stephens-Howling and more carries for starter Tim Hightower.

--RB Jason Wright (toe) has not practiced in more than a week because of turf toe. He is a valuable member of special teams and plays in some passing situations.

--WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) has practiced fully this week and is expected to play Sunday in St. Louis.


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