Evan Silva

Last Minute Decisions

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Cards Not Taking Chances

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Anquan Boldin is listed as questionable on the Cardinals' Week 16 injury report, but he did not practice at all this week and coach Ken Whisenhunt doesn't typically use players on game day that have taken no reps. Boldin is dealing with a shoulder injury, the extent of which is unknown. Because Arizona doesn't have anything left to play for -- a first-round bye cannot be clinched and the club has already won the NFC West -- it's very likely that Boldin will sit out at New England. It wouldn't make sense for the Cards to risk him beating his shoulder into the frozen Foxboro ground. Look for Steve Breaston to start across from Larry Fitzgerald and Jerheme Urban to stand in as the third receiver.

If the Cards get down a couple of scores early, don't be surprised to see some Matt Leinart either. Whisenhunt has made it clear that he doesn't plan to take any chances Sunday. His team has very little experience playing in poor weather and Whiz wants his key guys ready to go in January.

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Important Game-Time Decisions for Week 16

Arms
Tony Romo - Back bruise won't keep him out Saturday; expect 2 TDs.
Jeff Garcia - The Bucs fully expect Garcia to start against San Diego.
Gus Frerotte - Has lost his job to Tarvaris Jackson for the time being.
Trent Edwards - Unlikely to have success in return from groin strain.

Wides
Anquan Boldin - Likely to take the week off with nothing to play for.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh - Housh will start Sunday against the Browns.
Kevin Curtis - Calf strain will keep him out, Reggie Brown will start.
Laveranues Coles - Will play, but not a great fantasy play @ Seattle.
Domenik Hixon - Game-day decision, but still likely to face Carolina.
Derrick Mason - Bum shoulder won't keep Mason out Saturday night.
Chad Ocho Cinco - He has a hamstring injury, but scheduled to start.
Koren Robinson - Will start, but a third option at best in the offense.
Roy Williams - Probable, but hasn't topped 51 yds in a game all year.
Brandon Stokley - He's a full blown game-time decision against Bills.
Josh Morgan - Collided with S Mark Roman in practice, but he'll play.
Joshua Cribbs - Look for more of him at QB in the Wildcat vs. Cincy.
Roscoe Parrish - Late add to injury report is uncertain to face Denver.

Backs
Frank Gore - Latest news has Gore unlikely to be a big factor if active.
Brian Westbrook - Probable; he will start Sunday against Washington.
Brandon Jacobs - Fully scheduled to start; a high-upside play vs. CAR.
Matt Forte - Did some practicing on Friday and will start Monday night.
Clinton Portis - Very iffy to play after visit with chiropractor on Friday.
Marshawn Lynch - Despite questionable tag, he'll start at the Broncos.
Marion Barber - No one should count on MBIII in unfavorable matchup.
Kevin Smith - Questionable on injury report, but he's expected to start.
Derrick Ward - Ankle injury won't prevent him from backing up Jacobs.
J.J. Arrington - Look for Arrington to sit, Tim Hightower to handle load.
Ray Rice - Upgraded to questionable, but Rice's role is unpredictable.
Jerome Harrison - Likely to return from rib injury, but isn't a big factor.
Brandon Jackson - DeShawn Wynn will back up Grant if Jackson can't.
Deuce McAllister - Listed as probable, but doubt he'll get any carries.

Ends
Zach Miller - Shoulder stinger won't keep Miller from facing Houston.

Legs
Josh Brown - Returned to practice Friday and will kick against Niners.
Matt Stover - Probable; contract-year kicker will be in there @ Dallas.

Already Ruled Out for Week 16

Arms
Matt Hasselbeck - Seneca Wallace could start for rest of the season.
Carson Palmer - He's unlikely to make another appearance this year.
Alex Smith - Says he's willing to take pay cut to stay with 9ers in '09.
Daunte Culpepper - Dan Orlovsky to make his second straight start.

Wides
Arnaz Battle - Aggravated foot sprain landed Battle on injured reserve.
Malcom Floyd - Absence likely means more red-zone work for others.
Ronald Curry, Ashley Lelie - Johnnie Lee Higgins, Chaz Schilens to start.
James Hardy - Lost rookie year, torn ACL crush his dynasty prospects.
Hank Baskett - Kendra's hubby likely done until Week 1 of the playoffs.
Laurent Robinson - Preseason sleeper turned out to be a fantasy bust.

Backs
Reggie Bush - Knee woes are now chronic; Pierre Thomas stock on rise.
Rashard Mendenhall - Willie Parker's struggles help his fantasy value.

Ends
Kellen Winslow - Aims to play again this year, but doesn't seem close.
Steve Heiden - Look for more of rookie Martin Rucker against Bengals.

Legs
None of significance.


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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