Aug. 10, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin, the 2003 NFL offensive rookie of the year and the Cardinals only Pro Bowl player, injured his right knee Tuesday morning while loosening up for practice and was carted from the field.

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Boldin experienced soreness in the same knee Monday and sat out a morning practice but participated in an afternoon walkthrough.

His tests results weren't immediately available.

"His knee locked up on him, and so we're running some extensive tests," coach Dennis Green said after the first practice. "It's not locked up now."

Green said the injury was freakish.

"He wasn't running or anything," the coach said. "He was just actually not even hardly jogging, so I'm sure that something's going on inside, but we won't know until all the tests are done. They're running a different type of tests, since it is unusual."


Anquan Boldin set a rookie record with 101 catches for 1,377 yards last year.(Getty Images)
Last season, Boldin set an NFL rookie record with 101 receptions, had the most yards receiving (1,377) by a rookie since Houston's Bill Groman in 1960 and established a franchise rookie record with eight scoring grabs.

"When you lose a guy like 'Q,' lose a Pro Bowl player, you lose a big piece of the puzzle," running back Emmitt Smith said. "We don't know what the situation is. I don't know if we lost him and how long we lost him for. It could be a matter of days."

Boldin had reconstructive surgery on his left knee his junior season at Florida State. The injury reduced his draft value and allowed the Cardinals to pick him in the second round 37 places behind first-round selection Bryant Johnson of Penn State, another wide receiver and the 17th player taken last year.

Johnson, who had 35 catches as a rookie, got a stress fracture in his right foot during summer workouts, has been wearing a protective boot and is about three weeks away from going full speed.

Until Boldin and Johnson take the field, the featured wideout will be Bryan Gilmore, a backup who impressed Green in minicamps.

"I wanted to contribute with him," Gilmore said about Boldin. "I'm going to contribute regardless, but I'd much rather have him and BJ and Fitz (rookie Larry Fitzgerald) on my side."

Last weekend, the Cardinals lost running back Marcel Shipp with a dislocated ankle and broken leg, potentially a season-ending injury.

Green said Saturday it would take Shipp two to three months to recover from surgery to insert pins to support his fractured left fibula. The coach wanted to wait and see how Shipp progresses before deciding whether to place him on injured reserve, a designation which would end the fourth-year ball carrier's season.



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