Cardinals put recovering RB Wells through limited workout

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Beanie Wells went through a limited workout Wednesday, and Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team will "really test" the running back's injured knee Thursday.

That could lead to a full practice Friday and make Wells available to play in Sunday's game at Atlanta.

Wells didn't practice all last week and sat out the season opener at St. Louis with a bruised right knee.

Meanwhile, Cardinals receiver Early Doucet was being examined for a sports hernia. If that's the case, he will have it repaired, Whisenhunt said, and would be sidelined for "a couple of weeks."

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald again went through a full practice with a brace on his sprained right knee. Fitzgerald was noticeably slowed by the injury against the Rams, but he said he expects to be improved against the Falcons.

Wells said his knee felt good after his first practice since he was hurt during Arizona's preseason finale Sept. 2.

"The motion is there and the pain is very minimal, so we'll see how it goes from there," he said.

Without the dynamic second-year back from Ohio State, Arizona rushed for 112 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per carry in Sunday's 21-17 victory at St. Louis, including a 76-yard touchdown drive in which the Cardinals ran on all five plays.

However, starter Tim Hightower lost two critical fumbles, one at the St. Louis 6-yard line early in the game and one at the end of the contest when Arizona simply needed to run out the clock to secure the victory. Instead, rookie Sam Bradford had one last shot, but his long pass was intercepted by Adrian Wilson in the end zone.

Wilson blocked a field goal, had two interceptions and sacked Bradford, earning NFC defensive player of the week honors.

Wells rushed for a team-high 793 yards last season, second most only to Denver's Knowshon Moreno among NFL rookies.

"We're going to really test him tomorrow," Whisenhunt said. "Based on that, he should practice Friday, which will obviously give him a chance to play."

The oft-injured Doucet went out during the first half against St. Louis, pressing rookies Stephen Williams and Max Komar into significant playing time behind top receivers Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston.

Fitzgerald, a four-time Pro Bowl pick who has started every game since he came to the NFL in 2004, said he expects more of himself than he was able to show in Sunday's opener.

Fitzgerald's injury was a factor in the poor timing he had with quarterback Derek Anderson.

"I need to get myself together so I can be the best player I can be for him and this ballclub," Fitzgerald said. "We haven't worked extensively together, and that's going to come with time. We're going to be better than we were last week. We can't turn the football over (four team fumbles) and do the things that we did that almost cost me the game."

Anderson threw to Fitzgerald 15 times and completed three, including a 21-yarder for what proved to be the winning touchdown with 3:56 remaining.

Asked how many of those passes he would have caught had he been healthy, Fitzgerald said, "I can count about six or seven of them, just looking back. But that's going to come, and hopefully come sooner than later."

Defensive end Kenny Iwebema (knee) and safety Hamza Abdullah didn't practice Wednesday, when the team worked out indoors at the "bubble" practice facility at Arizona State University.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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