The Cardinals may have suffered an injury in the wrong place at the wrong time on Thursday.
Just three days before they face one of the most dangerous passing teams in the NFL — they play at Cincinnati Sunday — one of their starting pass defenders went down.
Cornerback Eric Green suffered a left ankle injury defending a pass in practice.
The Cardinals didn’t immediately know the extent of the injury, and Green didn’t want to say much.
But he walked into the locker room on crutches after practice. More should be known today.
The Bengals have a high-powered passing game led by quarterback Carson Palmer and receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson.
In better news for the Cardinals, coach Ken Whisenhunt said safety Adrian Wilson, who has a sore heel and calf, was “significantly better” on Thursday, though he wasn’t sure of Wilson’s playing status Sunday.
Also, backup safety Aaron Francisco tested his sore knee. But he has said he’ll likely wait until next week before playing again.
For the Bengals, Johnson sat out practice Thursday with a knee problem. Tackle Willie Anderson (knee) is listed as out.
J.J. Arrington is becoming a factor for the Cardinals.
Arrington caught two passes for 32 yards and ran the ball three times for 15 yards in the Cards’ win Sunday.
He had been fairly invisible until last month’s game at Washington.
Before that game, running backs coach Maurice Carthon approached Whisenhunt and suggested he get Arrington more action.
“He made a couple explosive plays late in the game,” Whisenhunt said. “Not only did his confidence go up, but ... he’s played some pretty good football since that point.
“Obviously when that happens, you want to try to get him more involved.”
“I feel great about it,” said Arrington, who is used mainly as a running back in third-down situations.
BUDDIES OFF FIELD
Whisenhunt is good friends with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis; the two were assistant coaches together for two seasons in Baltimore (Whisenhunt’s first NFL coaching job.)
The two have vacationed together in Hilton Head, S.C., where they play golf.
In taking the Cardinals job, Whisenhunt said he leaned on a number of people for advice.
“I talk to a number of guys who are my friends. Marvin is certainly one of them.
“You always take as much advice as you can get.”
But in forming plans for the Cardinals, Whisenhunt indicated he drew most heavily from his experiences with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“A lot of the things we brought here were things that I liked in Pittsburgh,” he said.
The Cardinals have yet to establish themselves as a road team. So far, they are 1-4.
Whisenhunt, though he’s in his rookie season as a head coach, said he’s well aware that the problem has been ongoing for years.
“As we progress and grow, we have to win some games on the road,” he said.
Cincinnati “will be a tough place for us to play. But if we want to compete in the (NFC) West and compete for the playoffs, we have to win a road game.”
In addition, they have to try to repeat their high-caliber play from last Sunday so that, “This wasn’t a one-time thing. We have to establish some consistency.”