The Arizona Cardinals return to the playoffs on Sunday to square off against the Green Bay Packers for the second time in two weeks, and they may have to do it without wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
Boldin hurt his ankle in last week's loss to the Packers and hasn't practiced all week. Also questionable for Sunday is corner back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who is out with a knee injury but had limited practices this week.
Without Boldin and Rodgers-Cromartie, the Cards would be missing key assets on both sides of the ball. Boldin -- pissing and moaning about his contract aside -- is a great receiver, who Kurt Warner needs if the Packers decide to double-up on Larry Fitzgerald.
"I'm doing everything within my power to make sure I'm on the field Sunday," Boldin tells ESPN today. "If I'm not able to go, trust me, it won't be anything I didn't do."
Rodgers-Cromartie may be more of an issue, though. He has six interceptions this season and no worthy replacement to take his spot should he not play. With Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the rhythm he's been in the last several weeks, the Cards need a big showing from the secondary to keep him honest.
The Packers aren't without their own injury issues. Cornerback Charles Woodson left last week's game early with a shoulder injury but is listed as probable on the Packers Web site. Woodson would likely cover Larry Fitzgerald, who's healthy as ever.
The rest of the starters for each team seem to be ready to go.
The Cards 1 1/2-point favorites in the game, despite the beating the Packers put on them last week.
The Cardinals used a fairly vanilla defense last week, which is reflected in the score, but it gave them a chance to see what the Packers were capable of.
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SHOW ME HOW
For the Cards to win Sunday, the defense needs to contain Aaron Rodgers. Containing Aaron Rodgers means more than good coverage in the secondary, it means hurrying him in the pocket. When Rodgers has time to the throw the ball, he can put it just about wherever he wants, and with receivers like Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, he doesn't have to look far.
On offense, it's simple: Don't turn over the ball.
The Cardinals have been plagued by fumbles all season, and Kurt Warner is no stranger to throwing interceptions, with 14 already this season. Other than that, all they need to do is give Kurt a target or get the ball in the hands of Beanie Wells and let him run people over.
Kickoff is at 2:40 p.m.