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Boldin misses practice, won't test hamstring until gameday

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Anquan Boldin says he won't give his injured hamstring a serious test until just before kickoff of the Arizona Cardinals' divisional playoff game at Carolina on Saturday night.

"We're just trying to be smart about the entire situation and just see how it feels on Saturday," Boldin said.

The Pro Bowl wide receiver sat out practice for the third day in a row Thursday to rest the injury, doing only minor rehabilitation work.

"It's a fine line that you have between doing enough and doing too much," he said.

Boldin strained his left hamstring on a 71-yard touchdown pass from Kurt Warner in the second quarter of last Saturday's 30-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

"If I played any other position, I'd be fine," Boldin said. "But being a receiver you've got to run every play and it's definitely tough."

Coach Ken Whisenhunt compared Boldin's situation to safety Adrian Wilson's hamstring injury earlier in the season. The decision to play Wilson against Buffalo on Oct. 5 was made just before game time.

"He was almost in the exact same situation and he ended up playing on Sunday and really had an impact on that game," Whisenhunt said. "So I could potentially see it being a very similar situation."

Asked if he could play despite not practicing, Boldin said, "It's been done before."

Wilson's play in the 41-17 victory over Buffalo was limited, and that could be the case for Boldin, too.

"If he feels good enough to contribute, you're going to have to make sure it stays warm so you're not just getting him one play here and one play there," Whisenhunt said. "But I think there are a lot of things you could use Anquan in that we would certainly welcome."

Whisenhunt said the game plan will be the same, with or without Boldin, who caught 89 passes for 1,038 yards and 11 touchdowns in the regular season despite missing four games.

"It doesn't change what we're doing," Whisenhunt said. "Like I said going into the week, we're going to have our game plan in and there'll be some things that we expect the other guys to pick up, whether it's Steve (Breaston) or Early (Doucet) or Jerheme Urban, and they've done a very good job with that so far."

Breaston made the most of his chances when Boldin missed two games with a facial injury from the brutal hit of Eric Smith of the New York Jets. Breaston had seven catches for 77 yards against Buffalo, then caught eight for 102 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals' 30-24 overtime victory over Dallas.

Breaston went on to join Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald as 1,000-yard receivers for the season. Breaston caught 77 passes for 1,006 yards in his second year in the NFL.

He said it wasn't just him who made up for Boldin's absence.

"We had a lot of people step it up, not just the wide receivers, but people like J.J. (Arrington) and the tight ends," Breaston said. "That's the biggest thing people need to realize. When 'Q' went down everybody collectively picked it up and everybody went out there and did their job. When you do that as a team, you're going to overcome obstacles."

The team is scheduled to fly to Charlotte on Friday.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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