Training Camp: Wednesday Report

While the first day of training camp was fairly quiet, we did learn a few things. DT Gabe Watson is not ready to participate and it could be some time before he is. Both WR Anquan Boldin and DT Darnell Dockett were in attendance, despite their demand for a new contract. Find out this and more in's Wednesday training camp update.

While DT Gabe Watson was rumored to be back in time for training camp, it looks highly unlikely. Watson is recovering from a broken kneecap and will continue to rehab until fully healthy. Backup LB Monty Beisel underwent surgery on his back a few weeks ago and will be used sparingly in the beginning of training camp. Rookie free-agent DT Keilen Dykes is also sidelined with a quad injury, and will be unable to practice.

The ramifications of Watson's injury will further open the door for second-year DT Alan Branch. Branch was already expected to give Watson a heated competition for the starting nose tackle position. Branch will look to take a firm grasp on the starting position this summer while Watson is still recovering from injury.

Beisel's injury seems much less serious, but will still give other backups an opportunity for more practice time. Rookie LB Ali Highsmith and second-year LB David Holloway will be first in line to capitalize on Beisel's absence.

Both WR Anquan Boldin and DT Darnell Dockett reported on Wednesday, despite their desire for a new contract. Boldin is regarded as one of the team's most important leaders while Dockett is a disruptive force along the Cardinals defensive line. Although their demand for a restructured contract probably won't go away, the fact that they're already in camp is encouraging.

While first-round draft pick CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is still not under contract, GM Rod Graves is hopeful a deal will be finalized soon. The two parties are closing in on a contract with hopes Rodgers-Cromartie will miss only a small portion of training camp. In his absence, backup cornerbacks Ralph Brown, Michael Adams and DeMario Minter will all see more reps.

Perhaps more intriguing than the current players injured or unsigned are the players returning from injuries. SS Adrian Wilson will be welcomed back to a Cardinals defense that struggled last season. Also returning on defense will be OLB Chike Okeafor and DE/OLB Bert Berry. Their ability to rebound from season-ending injuries last year will play a large part in the Cardinals defensive success in 2008.

The highlight of tomorrow's training camp activities will be the conditioning test. Once the conditioning test is completed, the Cardinals coaching staff will go to work on individual and team drills. At that point, the competition begins and the positional battles will start to take form.

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