Warner Doesn't Skip A Beat in Dire Situation

It's a rare moment in the world of sports when opposing teams gather in a circle with not even half a minute left on the clock to bow their heads in prayer. In an instant when almost nobody knew what to do, Kurt Warner joined hands with those around him to ask for help from upstairs.

With just 27 seconds left in the Arizona Cardinals second consecutive loss it didn't matter that the scoreboard read 56-35 in the New York Jets favor or that the loss was as ugly as the Jets throwback uniforms. And it certainly didn't matter that the Cardinals were holding the hand of a player in a Jets' uniform (or rather Titans of New York) all that mattered was that superstar receiver and charismatic athlete Anquan Boldin was OK.

In typical Kurt Warner and Boldin fashion a ball was thrown into a tight space that only Warner could throw and only Larry Fitzgerald or Boldin could catch.

But what would have been a touchdown turned into disaster when Jets' third-year strong safety Eric Smith came at Boldin with a helmet-to-helmet collision with all the angles of a cheap shot. Warner cautioned against labeling the play.

"Yeah (I saw it)," Warner said. "As far as dirty? I don't know. I don't think there was any intention to hurt anybody. It's one of those bang-bang, tight plays. You hate to see it happen late in the game when the game is pretty much decided at that point. I hope there was no ill-intent on the play. It's just one of those where they're playing a prevent defense and there are not a lot of holes. He wanted me to take a shot to score quickly and get the ball back. Like I said, it was just a bang-bang play. I don't know beyond that."

Regardless, there was nothing anyone could do but wait and pray Sunday as Boldin was lifted on to a stretcher and loaded into the awaiting ambulance. Word would trickle down that Boldin was in fact conscious and was able to move his extremities.

On the field, Boldin was motionless as Warner gathered the troops from both coasts and led the group in a potent prayer as the hit sucked the sound out Giant Stadium.

"Just anybody who wanted to (pray)," Warner said of gathering the players. "We were in the area and a couple of guys said, ‘Let's get a prayer.' It just seemed like the natural thing to do. Anyone who wanted to get in prayed that everyone would return healthy."

Boldin had a request of his own.

"He asked to get up and the doctors won't let him," Coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

From every angle, the situation appeared dire. Boldin was flopped down like a rag doll, Smith went down as well, but was able to walk off the field.

"Obviously my thoughts are with Anquan (Boldin)," Jets head coach Eric Mangini said. "Those are always scary. You never want to see that happen in any game. All of our thoughts and prayers are with him and tomorrow we'll check in on him and make sure he's doing okay."

Whisenhunt said that Boldin was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for precautionary reasons.

At the end of the day, it really didn't matter that three Cardinals receivers posted 100-yard plus days to actually make the Jets, who at one point had a 34 point lead, worried. What mattered was the way the Cardinals and Jets came together, whether for Boldin or themselves, because they all know it takes just one hit.

"It's a scary, scary part of the business," Warner said. "No matter how badly you play, you want to come out healthy."


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