Coming off their first preseason game Saturday night, the Arizona Cardinals went back to work in Flagstaff Monday. Despite two players being in a car accident on their way back up from Phoenix and a fuming coach, Big Red had a productive practice as they continue to prepare for the 2010 regular season.
Safeties Rashad Johnson and Aaron Rouse were involved in a minor traffic incident on I-17 when the vehicle they were behind suffered a blown tire. Johnson came away unscathed and practiced Monday while Rouse was sent back to Phoenix for further examination. Johnson not only practiced but jumped the route on a Matt Leinart pass only to drop the interception.
Steve Breaston beat Trumaine McBride for a stunning 45-yard touchdown strike from Leinart. Breaston had been battling a nagging knee injury over the last week and saw limited action Saturday. It was crucial for him to come out and make a big play.
With wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet sitting out with injuries, rookie Stephen Williams ran with the first team. Although there were no official changes to the depth chart after the Houston game, expect standout players like Williams, Daryl Washington, Greg Toler and Jim Dray to see more work at their respective positions.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt was outspoken at practice about his team's disappointing performance over the weekend, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.
Whisenhunt went on to say he wanted his team have a bigger sense of urgency this week and focus more on the mental components of their game. Some of the most basic aspects of the offense gave Arizona fits against the Texans.
"There were a couple of times in the first half, offensively, where it was a joke, to be quite honest with you," Whisenhunt said. "Plays that we had run 25 times in two weeks looked like it was the first time we'd run them."
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald missed practice after a hit to his knee in Saturday's game resulted in an MCL sprain. Fitzgerald spoke about his "minor setback," calling it no worse than an injury suffered against San Francisco last season, which resulted in no missed games. Do not expect to see Fitz in any more preseason contests, as the team wants to be cautious with their star wideout.
Following the traffic incident, safety Aaron Rouse was treated in Flagstaff then return to Phoenix for further precautionary tests. It is unknown whether he suffered any injuries or if this was done simply as a safety measure.
In addition to Doucet (abdominal), fellow receiver Ed Gant (foot), linebacker Reggie Walker (hamstring) and tight end Ben Patrick (knee) missed another session. While linebackers Gerald Hayes (back) and O'Brien Schofield remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.
Quote of the Day: "You work so hard in the offseason to get your body in shape and then something like this happens and you take a couple steps back. It makes you count your blessings. It brings you back to earth and makes you refocus. It makes you be more cerebral, it makes you watch the splits and watch the coverages becasue you can run the routes. You learn from a different point of view." –Larry Fitzgerald on his knee injury suffered against Houston
Follow Ryan Knowles on Twitter: @RyKno52
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