Team yet to say if injury is serious

Updated: August 10, 2004, 9:35 PM ET
Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin, the 2003 NFL offensive rookie of the year and the Cardinals' only Pro Bowl player, injured his right knee Tuesday morning while loosening up for practice and was carted from the field.

Boldin experienced soreness in the same knee Monday and sat out a morning practice but participated in an afternoon walkthrough.

He had X-rays and an MRI exam in Phoenix. The team said no results would be available until Wednesday because orthopedist Russell Chick, who ran the tests, also operated on running back Marcel Shipp's broken left leg Tuesday.

Coach Dennis Green said Boldin's knee locked up while he was in the early stages of preparing to practice.

"He wasn't running or anything," Green said. "He was just actually not even hardly jogging, so I'm sure that something's going on inside, but we won't know until all the tests are done."

Last season, Boldin set an NFL rookie record with 101 receptions, had the most yards receiving (1,377) by a rookie since Houston's Bill Groman in 1960 and established a franchise rookie record with eight scoring grabs.

"When you lose a guy like 'Q,' lose a Pro Bowl player, you lose a big piece of the puzzle," running back Emmitt Smith said. "We don't know what the situation is. I don't know if we lost him and how long we lost him for. It could be a matter of days."

Boldin had reconstructive surgery on his left knee his junior season at Florida State. The injury reduced his draft value and allowed the Cardinals to pick him in the second round 37 places behind first-round selection Bryant Johnson of Penn State, another wide receiver and the 17th player taken last year.

Johnson, who had 35 catches as a rookie, got a stress fracture in his right foot during summer workouts and has been wearing a protective boot. He is about three weeks away from going full speed.

Until Boldin and Johnson take the field, the featured wideouts will be Bryan Gilmore, a backup who impressed Green in minicamps, and rookie Larry Fitzgerald.

"I wanted to contribute with him," Gilmore said about Boldin. "I'm going to contribute regardless, but I'd much rather have him and BJ and Fitz on my side."

Nate Poole, another wide receiver, took the optimistic approach.

"We know that the medical staff will take care of that, and we just have to get Anquan back," Poole said.

The Cardinals lost Shipp on Friday with a dislocated ankle and the broken bone, which was diagnosed later.

Green said Saturday it would take Shipp two to three months to recover from surgery to insert pins into his fibula. The coach wanted to wait and see how Shipp progresses before deciding whether to place him on injured reserve, a designation that would end the fourth-year ball carrier's season.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press