Predicting Johnson's effectiveness difficult

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
4:26
PM ET
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Only one person besides Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson may know how effective he could be without the tip of his left middle finger: Ronnie Lott.

Lott, the former San Francisco 49ers safety, decided to have the tip of his left pinky finger cut off in 1986. Johnson’s circumstances were different but, like Lott, when he returns to the field, he’ll still have to learn to play without part of a finger.

Johnson, who didn’t practice Thursday, is still day-to-day for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay. He rated the pain at a 6.5 out of 10, still high but better than where it was Sunday and Monday, he added.

Whether Johnson plays Sunday will be determined by his pain tolerance, Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said. When asked about Johnson’s effectiveness if he plays Sunday, especially with his hand wrapped up, Bowles wasn't sure.

“I have not had a finger cut off so I think you’d have to ask Rashad -- either Rashad or Ronnie Lott,” Bowles said with a laugh. “I obviously don’t know the answer to that question.”

Bowles also said the defensive line misses Dan Williams, who is not with the team in Sarasota while his family grieves the loss of his father, Thomas, who died Friday in a car accident.

“I think they miss him mentally and emotionally,” Bowles said. “But (backup nose tackle Alameda) Ta'amu has come in and done a good job. Just a tragic situation right now. You try to survive until he gets back.”

In other injury news…

The only change to the Cardinals’ injury report was RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe) practiced fully. LB Kevin Minter (hamstring) did not practice. WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) and DE Ronald Talley (wrist) fully practiced.

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

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