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Cardinals vs. Giants: Whisenhunt 'Very Optimistic' Beanie Wells Will Be Available To Play

TEMPE -- Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells was officially listed as questionable for Sunday's home game against the New York Giants with a hamstring injury after being limited in Friday's practice. Apparently, however, coach Ken Whisenhunt saw enough of his lead ball carrier to say he believes Wells will be ready. 

"We'll still work him out before the game, but I still feel very optimistic he'll be able to play," Whisenhunt said after Friday's practice. 

Wells is the Cardinals' leading rusher and his return would be a major boost for the 1-2 Cardinals, but the run game could also be bolstered by the return of backup RB LaRod Stephens-Howling, who has missed the past two games with a hand injury. Stephens-Howling was also limited in practice Friday and is listed as questionable. 

Whisenhunt said he also expects Stephens-Howling to be able to play this Sunday.

The Cardinals seek their first win since Week 1, and all of their games have been close. Whisenhunt said there are both teachable moments and frustration to be taken from the one-point loss at Washington and three-point loss at Seattle. 

"Very frustrating, because you have an expectation of being successful. Frustrating because we made some mistakes that kept us from being successful," Whisenhunt said. "Those are things that you can fix. The only thing I can say of it is I hope we learn from it so that when we get in that situation again, we'll be successful.

"If we make mistakes Sunday, it'll be a tough day," he added.

The Cardinals will be challenged by the Giants' offense, with a cadre of banged-up but effective-when-able receivers. Quarterback Eli Manning has a lot of targets to which to throw, both inside and deep down the field. The Giants are also known for their power running game and two-headed running back system of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs

"It's going to be mano-a-mano and then you just have to be careful of Eli trying to throw the ball over your head," Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton said. 

Horton also talked about how the staff helped linebacker O'Brien Schofield "get on the same page" by making him wear a wristband with defensive calls on it, like a quarterback with plays. 

"I explained to him, 'Guys in Pittsburgh did the same thing, until they learned the defense,'" Horton said. "There's nothing wrong with that. It's just kind of a cheat sheet."

Horton said Schofield had clarity of understanding what the coaches have been trying to tell him in the Seattle game last week.