Cards’ Rodgers-Cromartie back, Boldin still out

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Starting cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned to practice for the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, but wide receiver Anquan Boldin remained sidelined because of a sprained left ankle.

Although he was listed as limited in the workout, Rodgers-Cromartie says he was at full speed and felt good. He sat out practice Wednesday because of a bruised left kneecap.

Rodgers-Cromartie, who made the Pro Bowl this season in his second year as a pro, said he expects to play on Sunday when the Cardinals host Green Bay in a wild card playoff game.

“It felt real good to be out there flying around,” he said “to be back in with these guys and practicing and working towards something good.”

The three-time Pro Bowler Boldin, however, was uncertain about his chances of playing on Sunday.

“I’ll just have to wait and see,” he said.

Defensive end Calais Campbell practiced with a club-like cast on his broken left thumb. Starting right guard Deuce Lutui didn’t practice after leaving Wednesday’s workout with back spasms.

Starting safety Antrel Rolle, who missed last Sunday’s game with an injured right thigh, practiced on a limited basis.

It’s the second time this season Boldin has had to deal with a sprained ankle. Although he insisted he could have played, he was inactive for the Chicago game because of a sprained right ankle.

He said he has played in games without practicing the previous week, and Whisenhunt seemed confident that Boldin would play.

“He has proven time and time again what he’s all about as far as how tough he is and his ability to come in there and play,” the coach said, “so I’m not concerned about that.”

Campbell, in his second NFL season and first as a starter, laughed and said yes when asked if he could use the cast as a weapon, but added he’s concerned about how it will affect him in wrapping up tackles.

“Hopefully, they’ll be able to put something on it and I’ll be able to play,” Campbell said. “I just don’t want to do something that would hurt the team.”

Lutui said his back was stiff “but nothing serious, really.” He expected to be back in practice on Friday and play on Sunday. Offensive linemen, he said, play hurt.

“That’s the position,” he said. “You’ve got to run it ’til the wheels fall off.”

If Boldin can’t play or is limited by the injury, it could mean more time on the field for the Cardinals’ improving young Early Doucet. Doucet has moved ahead of Jerheme Urban as Arizona’s No. 4 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald, Boldin and Steve Breaston.

In his second NFL season, Doucet had at least one catch in eight of the last nine games, with 17 receptions for 214 yards and his first career touchdown in that span.

“I’m definitely ready,” he said. “I think I’ve been taking the necessary steps as far as film study, studying my plays and going out there in practice and executing them. When you take care of those things in practice, the game is easy for you.”