FLAGSTAFF — Arizona running back Beanie Wells missed another workout with a sprained right ankle on Monday, raising doubts that he'll play in the Cardinals' preseason opener.
Wells ran and did agility drills on a side field during a morning practice at Northern Arizona University. Wells said the ankle is improving, but coach Ken Whisenhunt wouldn't commit to playing Wells when the Cardinals open the preseason at Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
"I would say it's possible, but I would say it's probably not greatly possible," Whisenhunt said after the first of two practices. "He's working hard. He's making a lot of progress."
Meanwhile, Pro Bowl receiver Anquan Boldin returned to practice in the afternoon after missing morning drills with a swollen knee. And Pro Bowl quarterback Kurt Warner reported that his surgically repaired hip still hurts but is improving.
Whisenhunt said Boldin, who rode a stationary bike during the morning session, had a "little swelling in his knee."
"He's gone at it pretty hard for a week and a half," Whisenhunt said. "I'm not going to push him. We all know how tough Anquan is. That's nothing to question. He has been working very hard. I've been very pleased. I certainly respect what he's done in camp the first 10 days. For him to have a day off is not something I'm really concerned about."
After the morning practice, Boldin said he would participate in afternoon drills, and he did. He showed no signs of an injury as he ran pass routes.
Wells, the first-round pick out of Ohio State, sprained the ankle in his first practice on Aug. 1, shortly after agreeing to a five-year, $11.8 million contract, with $6.3 million guaranteed.
When Wells arrived in camp, he said he planned to compete with second-year pro Tim Hightower for the starting job. With each passing day, Hightower has been impressing the coaches and Wells appears to be falling behind.
"It's definitely frustrating, because I had high expectations for this camp, and I haven't been doing that much practice," Wells said. "But we're only, what, a week and a half in. This is going to be a long season. We've got a lot more time for me to establish myself and get better."
Wells had nagging injuries for much of his career at Ohio State. Last season, he missed three full games with a right foot injury but still managed to run for 1,197 yards.
"It's definitely not as bad as other injuries I've had," Wells said of his sprained ankle.
Whisenhunt said Wells still has plenty of time to catch up before the Sept. 13 opener against San Francisco.
"I can't say that I'm disappointed because it was just an unfortunate injury to him," Whisenhunt said. "There's still plenty of time. He's certainly got a number of preseason games hopefully that we can get him in. So I think he'll be OK."
As for Warner, he is rebounding from offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum and to remove some loose fragments.
Warner said the hip hurts but that it isn't hindering him on the field. And there's no indication the 38-year-old Warner's streak of 31 straight starts is in jeopardy.
"It's more when I'm just standing up or walking that I have the most pain," Warner said. "When I'm playing, I don't have any pain. I don't feel it at all."
Does that mean Warner will lobby for the Cardinals to deploy a no-huddle offense, eliminating the time spent standing around between plays?
"I want the no-huddle every year, so if my hip will help that, I'll use that ploy as well," he said with a grin.