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Monday, August 9, 2010
Awaiting definitive word on Beanie Wells

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

First the San Francisco 49ers carted off center Eric Heitmann with a broken leg that could sideline him for 6-8 weeks. Then the Arizona Cardinals carted off running back Beanie Wells with injured ribs and no indication how long me might miss.

It's tough to blame the Seattle Seahawks for giving players Monday off and canceling one of their two scheduled practices for Tuesday (the team is now finished with the two-a-day portion of practices this year).

Injuries are unavoidable in football, but if you read Darren Urban's report for azcardinals.com, it sounds as though safety Hamza Abdullah might have hit Wells harder than Wells expected to be hit. And therein lies one of the challenges of training camps.

Football is a game best played all-out. Players are taught to practice hard. Some players are fighting for roster spots. Others are simply trying to hone their skills and stay healthy for the regular season. Sometimes bad things happen when those conflicting priorities collide.

The fight that broke out in Cardinals camp last week stemmed from Darnell Dockett taking down quarterback Matt Leinart by the ankles. The Cardinals very much want Dockett to take down quarterbacks. They also want him to practice hard. But they do not want him to practice so hard that he takes down their quarterback.

As Abdullah said after his hit on Wells, "Sometimes instincts take over."

Urban said he thought Wells would not miss significant playing time, but the Cardinals haven't said anything definitive. The Seahawks' Julius Jones missed two games after suffering a broken rib against the Cardinals last season.

Rib injuries tend to hurt a great deal and they can linger as players try their best to get back onto the field.