J.J. Arrington, RB – Lingering Knee Soreness
Cardinals’ third string running back and kick returner J.J. Arrington, who has been dealing with a lingering knee problem since late in the regular season, was held out of practice last week and even though he was limited in practice this week team officials expect him to play on Sunday. According to reports Arrington’s knee won’t be at full strength this weekend however the team’s medical staff believes that he will be healthy enough to play. He spent a lot of time last week getting treatment on his ailing knee and he has been limited this week in an effort to reduce the wear and tear on the joint. It didn’t help that the practice field was wet on Thursday as well. He might do more in practice today and unless he suffers a setback he will be active on Sunday against the Steelers.
Anquan Boldin, WR – Strained Hamstring
Anquan Boldin’s injured hamstring is close to 100% and after taking part in two straight weeks of unrestricted practice without a problem it looks like he is ready for the biggest game of his young career. Boldin, who missed the team’s divisional playoff game, was active for the NFC Championship game but he was clearly not at his best. But according to reports he spent a lot of time working with the team trainers last week before and after practice and he apparently looked good during workouts this week. If the Steelers double Larry Fitzgerald there is a good chance that Boldin will be left in one-one-one coverage and if his hamstring hold’s up he could be in for a monster game.
Travis LaBoy, LB/DL – Strained Biceps
Cardinals’ LB/DL Travis LaBoy has been limited in practice this week because of strained biceps muscle but team officials believe that he will be active on Sunday against the Steelers. There was concern that LaBoy, who was hurt in the NFC Championship game, had suffered a tear in his muscle. However head coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters that an MRI revealed that it was just a strain. LaBoy has been held out of most contact drills this week but during an interview he said “There's no way I'm missing this next game.” Whisenhunt has said that LaBoy will wear an elbow brace and that he will “try to play” indicating that the injury is more of a problem than what the team has lead everyone to believe. He’ll probably be active, but don’t be surprised if he spends more time on the sideline than on the field.
Antonio Smith, DL – Knee Soreness
Cardinals’ DL Antonio Smith, who left the NFC Championship game against the Eagles with a knee injury, was limited in practice last week and this week however team officials expect him to play on Sunday. The exact nature of Smith’s injury has not been made public, but according to reports his knee remains sore and he spends time before and after practice in the training room getting treatment. Smith spoke with reporters this week and he said that his knee was OK and that he would definitely be ready for the Super Bowl. If he makes it through practice today without incident then he should be active against the Steelers.
Mewelde Moore, RB – Sprained Ankle
Steelers’ RB Mewelde Moore has recovered nicely from a sprained ankle and he will be active against the Cardinals on Sunday. Moore hurt his ankle during the AFC Championship game and he was held out of a couple of practices last week as a result. But he did take part in full practices last Thursday and Friday and he has been a full participant in practices this week. Moore will have his ankle taped as a precaution, but the team’s medical staff does not expect his ankle to be an issue.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB – Bruised Lower Back and Ribs
Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a couple of injuries heading into the Super Bowl. The good news is that neither injury is considered serious and head coach Mike Tomlin has said that Roethlisberger will be ready for Sunday’s game. Roethlisberger suffered bruises to his lower back and ribs during the AFC Championship game and he was held out of practice last Wednesday while recovering. But he was back on the practice field the next day and he’s been a full participant in every practice since then. There are reports that he appeared to be having trouble with his torso area during practice and according to several websites he underwent X-rays on his ribs two days ago. Tomlin and Roethlisberger have done everything they can to avoid questions regarding Roethlisberger’s ribs. So there is growing speculation that his rib injury is more severe than what the team is reporting. But the injury isn’t keeping him from practicing so if he can find a way to deal with the discomfort and pain, and I’m sure the medical staff will help him there, he should be fine for the Super Bowl.
Hines Ward, WR – Sprained MCL
Steelers’ WR Hines Ward, who suffered a strained medial collateral ligament in the AFC Championship game, practiced on Thursday for the first time since getting hurt and team officials expect him to start on Sunday against the Cardinals. Ward did not practice last week and he was held out of workouts earlier this week, but he took the field with teammates on Thursday and according to reports he looked OK. He admitted that his knee wouldn’t be 100% for the Super Bowl, but he said that he will wear a protective brace and that he knee won’t prevent him from being effective. Head coach Mike Tomlin is confident that Ward will be ready and he believes that he will have a big game.