Heading into their Week 16 Christmas Day game agaist the Dallas Cowboys, the Arizona Cardinals will likely be without two players who were expected to be key contributors at the start of the season. Receiver Early Doucet suffered a hip flexor injury and linebacker Joey Porter suffered a triceps injury. Running back and kick returner LaRod Stephens-Howling reinjured the same hamstring that was giving him problems not long ago.
For Doucet, this is yet another injury to add to the list. He has yet to play a full season in his three years in the NFL. He was expected to play a big part on offense this season, as he was to be the type of player that Anquan Boldin was. He has only had 26 receptions this season for 291 yards.
Porter's triceps injury could be significant. He was waiting for an MRI, but the fact that Ken Whisenhunt brought it up when it was not reported during or after the game on Sunday seems to indicate that it is serious. It would not surprise many if he were to miss the final two games of the season.
Porter has also been somewhat of a disappointment. His five sacks are tied for the team lead, but it was hoped that he would be a much greater pass-rusing force than five sacks in 14 games. He has not been a disrupting force.
"Hyphen's" hamstring is not considered serious and he may simply be limited in practice.
An interesting tidbit about the Arizona offense was shared by Kent Somers, stating that Whisenhunt began sharing playcalling responsibilities a few weeks ago. Passing coordinator Mike Miller has been calling most of the plays for the pat few weeks.
One of the criticisms by fans and the media has been his unwillingness to hand over playcalling to someone else. So it seems that he had already done this and did not announce it because he did not want everyone blaming Miller for the offensive struggles.
We should note that it is not the first time that Whisenhunt has given up the playcalling. He called plays himself when he was first hired. He then gave duties to Todd Haley. When Haley left, he took the job back, but apparently always had planned to hand it to an assistant the whole time.
So for those of us that have been calling for Whiz to hire an offensive coordinator , I would guess that this will indeed happen for next year.