For a different twist on Cardinals practice Wednesday, Emmitt Smith worked out, and Marcel Shipp did not.
It probably won’t mean much for the Cardinals on Sunday. Smith — recovering from a fractured shoulder blade — is still listed as doubtful to play. Shipp, meanwhile, said he will return to practice today and play Sunday.
But for both players and the team, Smith’s return to health might be coming along at the right time.
"Emmitt looked pretty good," coach Dave McGinnis said after Smith came out with about 20 minutes of practice left. "We are going to be smart about this."
Smith will join his teammates in full pads today, McGinnis said. Smith declined to speak to the media Wednesday, although he was expected to talk today after getting in a regular practice.
"I’m still rehabbing," Smith said as he walked into the locker room. "I don’t have any answers yet."
Shipp had the answer why he couldn’t go Wednesday, in the form of a bulging bursa sac on his right forearm that makes him look straight out of a Popeye cartoon.
"It hurts bad," said Shipp, who also had a smaller sac on his left arm. "If you touch it right now, I might scream. Game day is a different story. I’ve been hurting the past couple of Mondays, but it’s part of the game."
Shipp had little time to prepare for his heavy load. In the five games Smith played, Shipp averaged 4.8 carries a game. In his five starts, Shipp has averaged 21.8 carries a game. Smith’s return could ease some of that pain.
"It’s always good to have someone like Emmitt back," Shipp said.
Linebacker Raynoch Thompson is not listed on the injury report, but he sat out practice Wednesday after jamming his neck against Cleveland. McGinnis said Thompson is still sore despite an MRI saying there is no structural damage.
"Those MRIs, they aren’t pain barometers," McGinnis said.
Linebacker Gerald Hayes (torn labrum) was back but limited in the workout. Guard Cameron Spikes had to come out of practice after aggravating an ankle injury, but he is expected to be OK.
McGinnis said he is hoping to see more from rookie receiver Bryant Johnson. Johnson let a pass go right through his hands early in the Cleveland game, with the ball ending up as an interception.
"You have to make that catch," McGinnis said. "He has to continue to get better." . . .
Defensive coordinator Larry Marmie, tending to his family after his father passed away last weekend, did not make it to practice Wednesday.