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Cards QB Hall healing from 'Hawks beating, could play Sunday

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Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Max Hall experienced "concussion-like symptoms" during Sunday's 22-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but he is feeling better Monday, according to a league source.

The early prognosis is that Hall, who was named the Cardinals' starter in place of veteran Derek Anderson in Week 5, should be ready to go against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, barring any setbacks.

Hall still needs to pass the tests required by the NFL after a blindside sack knocked him out of Sunday's game in Seattle with a concussion.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said that if the rookie is cleared, he will be the starter against Tampa Bay, his poor performance in the 22-10 loss to the Seahawks notwithstanding.

"We can't make too much of what happened yesterday," Whisenhunt said at his Monday news conference. "He's a rookie quarterback. We can't lose sight of that. You know that you're going to have some things that you have to go through the first time. This is his first start on the road in a tough environment, and it didn't go very well. But what I've seen of Max, he'll bounce back and he'll improve."

Whisenhunt said he is looking to simplify Arizona's game plan in hopes that Hall can return to the freewheeling form that impressed the coaching staff during the preseason.

"We ran a bunch of plays that we ran in camp that we were familiar with and we executed them well," Whisenhunt said. "We're going to go back to a little bit of that. Hopefully that will help us be more efficient."

Hall was knocked out in the third quarter of last Sunday's game, the result of a hard but legal sack by Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons. Hall was blindsided, and he fumbled the ball at the Arizona 11-yard line, setting up one of Olindo Mare's five field goals.

Hall wasn't in the Cardinals' locker room when reporters were there Monday.

After the game, Hall said he was "a little woozy" and "a little nauseous" after the play.

"But I'll be OK," he said.

Hall struggled with his grip on the ball in the wet weather, leading Whisenhunt to suggest the quarterback might want to try gloves.

"It was tough. At times, it was really wet. But, it's no excuse," Hall said. "You still have to be able to execute. We were running the ball well. But we kept having turnovers and mistakes. It is hard to win when you do that."

Anderson, who started in Arizona's first four games, relieved Hall and directed the Cardinals to their only touchdown, but he was erratic, as is his custom. Anderson was 8-of-17 passing for 96 yards.

Wide receiver Steve Breaston was kept out of the game because of the wet conditions, Whisenhunt said. Breaston has missed three games while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. The Cardinals expect him back against the Bucs.

Arizona's offense has scored two touchdowns in the last three games, and one of those was a 2-yard return of Hall's fumble by offensive tackle Levi Brown. The team hasn't had a passing touchdown since Week 3.


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Again, the Cardinals had trouble taking advantage of Larry Fitzgerald's talent. Arizona threw to him 10 times Sunday, but Fitzgerald caught just three for 30 yards.

"Really, the quarterback play has been inconsistent," Whisenhunt said. "We've missed opportunities, and that's what hurt us, and obviously when we do get something going we've turned the ball over."

The Cardinals had five turnovers, four of them fumbles. Tim Hightower, who lost two fumbles in the season opener, lost another one at the end of a 28-yard run that gave the Seahawks the ball at their 28-yard line. Hightower gained 59 yards in six attempts, but he didn't carry the ball again.

Whisenhunt praised his defense for keeping the Cardinals close despite the turnovers. Seattle's only touchdown in seven red-zone trips came after Andre Roberts' muffed punt gave the Seahawks the ball at the Arizona 2-yard line. The Cardinals sacked Matt Hasselbeck five times, two by Alan Branch.

But it wasn't enough to overcome Arizona's punchless offense and the many mistakes.

The Cardinals (3-3) weren't about to concede that the Seahawks (4-2) are the best team in the NFC West.

"A game like that, we killed ourselves," running back Beanie Wells said. "We've got to give them credit. They're a good team, but I definitely don't think they are better than us."

The teams have a rematch in Arizona on Nov. 14.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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