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Friday, January 16, 2009
Cards WR Boldin says hamstring OK

Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- After missing a playoff game with an injured hamstring, Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin said he expects to play in the NFC Championship Game against Philadelphia on Sunday.
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The Arizona Cardinals defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 32-25 in the NFC Championship Game.

"I'm feeling good," Boldin said after practice Friday. "I've been able to practice all week, so if nothing else happens at this point, I'll be out on the field."

Boldin, who with Larry Fitzgerald forms possibly the best receiving tandem in football, said a trip to a Dallas chiropractor this week greatly improved his strained left hamstring. The injury kept Boldin out of the Cardinals' 33-13 victory at Carolina in Saturday's divisional playoff game.

Boldin has practiced each of the last three days, and he said he should be able to run all his normal pass routes Sunday.

"For me, it isn't a problem either way right now," Boldin said. "It's not grabbing, so I don't have any problem with it. I'm able to run short and deep routes."

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said he didn't know how the hamstring might limit Boldin against the Eagles.

"I think we'll get a better feel as the game goes on," Whisenhunt said. "I expect him to be in the game. We'll see how it goes, how he gets involved with the flow of the game. Obviously, we'll give him as much as he can handle."

Boldin injured his hamstring on a 71-yard touchdown pass from Kurt Warner in the second quarter of Arizona's 30-24 wild-card victory over Atlanta on Jan. 3. Boldin caught 89 passes for 1,038 yards and 11 touchdowns in the regular season despite missing four games with injuries.

Warner said Boldin hasn't been slowed in practice this week.

"I'm sure only Anquan knows how good he feels," Warner said. "But at least he's been running around. You haven't noticed any discrepancy in the way he's running or the way he's pushing himself, and so we're excited about that because he obviously adds another dimension to our football team and another weapon and a go-to guy."

For Philadelphia, running back Brian Westbrook, who has a knee injury, practiced Friday for the first time in three days and is expected to play.

Westbrook said he tweaked the knee in last week's divisional playoff victory over the New York Giants but that it "just feels good.

"I don't know what it is," Westbrook said after practice Friday. "I just feel good right now."

Offensive tackle Jon Runyan, who also has a knee injury, didn't practice all week but is likely to play. Runyan has played in 212 consecutive games, including the playoffs.

Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, who has a back injury, also participated fully in practice for the second consecutive day.