To Rest Anquan Boldin, Or to Play Him?

Receiver Anquan Boldin has limped through the past three games after suffering a sprained ankle against the Texans on Oct. 11. Boldin deserved considerable credit for playing through the injury, but it might be time to give him a week off. He hasn't been able to finish the past two games, and the injury likely won't improve much until he gives it some rest.

Anquan Boldin was productive in the first half two weeks ago against the Giants, but he couldn't run in the second half after the ankle became stiff and sore.

Last week against the Panthers, Boldin looked slow running routes, and he aggravated the injury when he took a hit in the third quarter.

With Boldin at partial health, it's hard for coaches to develop a game plan. Boldin's excels at running shorter to intermediate routes and can turn a bubble screen into a long touchdown.

But when he's hobbling, coaches don't know how much to count on him. Do they devote much practice time to plays that they might not be able to run in the fourth quarter?

The Cardinals can survive a week without him. They won four of the five games he missed last year. Steve Breaston, the third receiver, has proven he can be productive in a starting role.

Jerheme Urban can move up to the No. 3 role, and Boldin's absence would allow Early Doucet, who has looked good in practice, to be active for the first time this season.


--QB Kurt Warner hasn't played well the past two weeks. He looked nervous and antsy in the pocket against the Giants two weeks ago, and he was partly responsible for six turnovers last week against the Panthers.

--RB Tim Hightower has 39 receptions this year because teams are forcing Kurt Warner to check down from his top options. WR Larry Fitzgerald isn't getting open deep, and opponents are making the Cardinals work down the field in short increments.

--RB Beanie Wells continues to look explosive in the run game, but the club had trouble staying with the run after falling behind by 21 points to the Panthers last week.

--RB Jason Wright suffered a dislocated thumb last week. The bone broke the skin, but medical staff set it back in place and stitched the wound. Wright returned to the game.

--WR Larry Fitzgerald is averaging less than 11 yards per catch, nearly 4 yards less than last season. Teams are double teaming him, and quarterback Kurt Warner appears reluctant to throw to him in those situations.

--WR Anquan Boldin continues to struggle with a sprained ankle. He aggravated the injury last week, and it might be time to give him a week off.

--WR Steve Breaston could move into a starting role this week if Anquan Boldin's sore right ankle prevents him from playing. Breaston has been productive before as a starter.

--TE Ben Patrick won't make a ton of catches for the Cardinals, but he'll be a target in the red zone. He caught a touchdown pass last week.

--TE Anthony Becht is the best blocking tight end on the club, and he's shown he can catch when asked to.

--K Neil Rackers has been reliable this season, missing only one field goal. Rackers didn't have an attempt last week.

--CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie proved last week he is still susceptible to double moves. Steve Smith burned him on one for a 50-yard touchdown.

--SS Adrian Wilson played in the box last week, but the Panthers still ran for 270 yards. It wasn't one of Wilson's best games.

--FS Antrel Rolle played the entire game last week despite having an arch injury. Rolle likely will be questionable again this week.

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