Saturday, August 27, 2011
Three things: Cardinals-Chargers
By Mike Sando
Three things to watch for in the Arizona Cardinals' preseason home game against the San Diego Chargers at 10 p.m. ET:
1. Beanie Wells' health: Losing rookie running back Ryan Williams to a season-ending knee injury last week was tough enough. It's tougher yet for Arizona knowing Wells, the only viable starting back remaining on the roster, hasn't exactly set the standard for NFL ironmen. Wells sprained an ankle during his very first training camp practice with the team back in 2009. The knee injury he suffered during an Aug. 28, 2010 preseason game at Chicago required surgery. Running backs get injured. It's the nature of the position. Wells and the Cardinals could use some luck on that front.
2. O'Brien Schofield's encore. Sometimes NFL teams invest draft choices in highly talented players with serious injury concerns. The Cardinals' division rival, Seattle, did that with cornerback Walter Thurmond a year ago. The move looks like it's paying off. Arizona took a similar approach when drafting Schofield, who required reconstructive surgery after injuring a knee during Senior Bowl practices in early 2010. Schofield had a sack and forced fumble for the Cardinals against Green Bay last week, a positive sign. Arizona will be watching closely to see if Schofield can build on the performance.
3. Kevin Kolb's home debut. The Cardinals' new quarterback should expect an enthusiastic welcome from Arizona fans longing for restored competence at the position. Kolb is looking for his first touchdown pass of his first preseason with the team. Fans wouldn't complain if Kolb found the newly re-signed Larry Fitzgerald for a score. I'd be a little surprised if the Cardinals didn't make it happen in this game.