Training Camp Report: Wednesday

The Cardinals continued to build the foundation for the 2008 season with their seventh day of training camp on Wednesday. While dealing with multiple player injuries, the team eased down this afternoon before holding an intense night session under the lights. Brad Wilbricht has the latest news from Flagstaff in this AZRedReport.com exclusive.

Center Al Johnson headed back to Phoenix today to receive additional treatment on a sore knee that has sidelined him throughout training camp. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt expected Johnson to be back on the field by now, but that is not the case. Johnson had offseason surgery on his knee but is still feeling lingering effects. In his place, second-year center Lyle Sendlein has joined the first team offense. If Johnson's knee becomes a lasting problem this season, Sendlein could be in line for a breakout year.

Although disgruntled wide receiver Anquan Boldin is still out with a hamstring injury, CB Marcus Brown was back in action. Brown is competing for one of the Cardinals final roster spots, but has an uphill battle due to the Cardinals new found depth at the cornerback position. Furthermore, the emergence of SS Aaron Francisco in the team's nickel package will make Brown's chances of making the active roster even more unlikely.

DE Antonio Smith didn't miss any practice time, but has been receiving extra medical attention to his hamstring. Smith will need to avoid any down time as rookies Calais Campbell and Kenny Iwebema will look to dethrone him as a starting defensive end.

TE Ben Patrick continued to build momentum with another solid practice today. Patrick reeled in an acrobatic touchdown pass from backup QB Brian St. Pierre. Patrick and TE Leonard Pope are engaged in a heated battle for the starting tight end position. Pope is coming off a season-ending ankle injury, but is starting to round into form.


WR Steve Breaston
(Otto Greule Jr/Getty)

Like Patrick, second-year WR Steve Breaston also continues to click on all cylinders. Breaston's improved receiving skills have been one of the biggest surprises during Cardinals offseason workouts and training camp. On Wednesday, Breaston beat rookie CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a long touchdown pass from QB Matt Leinart.

Breaston and rookie WR Early Doucet are currently neck-and-neck for the Cardinals third wide receiver spot. The competition is expected to last throughout the preseason, with the winner lining up in the slot along side Pro Bowlers Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.


Brad Wilbricht can be contacted at bwill5025@msn.com

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