|National Football League|
Cardinals pack up after workout, head for Canton
By BOB BAUM
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals held their final practice of the week, a two-hour session in the morning, before heading home to pack for a trip to Canton, Ohio, and a Sunday night appearance against New Orleans in the Hall of Fame Game.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said after Friday's practice that Ryan Williams will not play against the Saints as the team takes a cautious approach to the young running back's return from a torn patella tendon in his right knee and subsequent surgery that sidelined him all of last season.
Safety Adrian Wilson has a sore calf and might sit out the Hall of Fame Game, too.
The Cardinals won't be back in Flagstaff for 10 days. After the game Sunday, they will travel to Kansas City and will practice there with the Chiefs leading up to next Thursday's preseason game between the two teams.
The Cardinals have just five days of practice left at their training camp, in the pines of northern Arizona where the elevation is 7,000 feet and the temperature far cooler than the triple digits of greater Phoenix. They will practice in Flagstaff on Aug. 13-15 and Aug. 20-21.
"I think things have gone well," Whisenhunt said. "We've had a lot that we've tried to get in. It wasn't a lot of time between when we first got here and when we've got to play a game, but for the most part I think our players have worked hard. We've got progress yet to make. I don't know what it's going to be like on Sunday. But I'm very pleased at how our players have worked on the field."
Whisenhunt said he just hopes "we play a good, physical game, don't make a lot of mistakes and we come out of it injury-free. That's what you really want."
Still to be determined is the starting quarterback, with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton splitting reps. Kolb will start Sunday night and Whisenhunt said he and the coaches have yet to determine how the playing time will break down from there.
"Everything's a little condensed because we play so soon," Skelton said, "but I thought a lot of the younger guys coming in picked up the offense pretty well considering we were installing a lot. I think it went pretty smooth. The litmus test is on Sunday."
It's an extra preseason game for the Cardinals, who after a six-game losing streak won seven of their last nine to finish 8-8 last season.
Afterward, Whisenhunt declared the competition open between Kolb and Skelton, a pair of low-key personalities who profess and exhibit no animosity toward each other.
"We're feeding off each other," Skelton said. "We're both pushing each other both in meetings and on the field, so I think we're both prepared for Sunday."
With Williams injured, and Beanie Wells still on the physically unable to perform list while coming back from surgery, fans will see a lot of Alphonso Smith and William Powell at running back against New Orleans.
Whisenhunt said earlier in the week that Wells could start practicing some in Kansas City with an eye to him playing in Arizona's preseason home opener against Oakland on Aug. 16.
The Cardinals open their regular season Sept. 9 at home against Seattle.
Updated August 3, 2012