Cardinals need quick turnaround after tough loss

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Associated Press

Posted on October 14, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 14 at 5:01 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — With its big defensive end just out of a brief stay in the hospital and its star wide receiver nursing a sore hamstring, Arizona doesn't have much time to recover from its tough loss at San Francisco.

The Cardinals (3-3) are home against NFC West-leading Seattle (5-1) on Thursday night.

Defensive end Calais Campbell had a scare when he went down in San Francisco and was carted off the field strapped to a stretcher.

He was hospitalized until a barrage of tests cleared him and he took part in the Cardinals' walk-through practice on Monday. He said he hopes to play Thursday.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has a sore hamstring.

Coach Bruce Arians said Fitzgerald's condition is "about the same that he is every week."

"It gets a little better and then he plays on it and it gets worse," Arians said. "So hopefully we can continue to nurse it into the small open week and get it better."

Fitzgerald had a 75-yard touchdown catch against the 49ers, but he also had a costly fumble in the third quarter.

With Arizona trailing 22-20 and driving for what could have been the go-ahead score, Fitzgerald, trying to stretch the ball forward with one hand, fumbled at the 49ers 23.

San Francisco recovered at its 11.

What followed was a marathon 18-play, 89-yard 49ers drive, using up 9 minutes, 32 seconds, for the game-clinching touchdown.

"You would never anticipate ball security being an issue in that part of the game," Arians said. "When you're fighting for that much, that doesn't make too much sense — reaching the ball out, and it almost happened again later."

The Cardinals' defense, after playing so well most of the game, couldn't stop Frank Gore on that long touchdown drive.

"It was tough, man," inside linebacker Daryl Washington said. "Once you get your back to the wall, you have to toughen it out. I thought we lost our energy that fourth quarter to end the game. We didn't play like we did the first three quarters and the game got away from us."

Carson Palmer threw two early interceptions, giving him 11 in six games this season.

Arians blamed the interceptions on the receivers.

Asked what Palmer could do to get a better start to a game, Arians said, "Have the guys around him play better."

So Palmer's slow start was because the receivers were in the wrong place?

"Yes," Arians said.

The coach said there won't be much, if any, running in the team's three practices leading up to Thursday night.

"You don't practice, you walk through," he said.

Tackle Eric Winston said he has had a Thursday night game in six or seven of his eight NFL seasons.

"I've done it quite a bit," he said. "Obviously when you're younger it's a little easier, but as you get up there it's tough. I mean, from the standpoint of the mental part, you can gain an edge there, but it's tough physically.

"You're going in Thursday night you're probably going to still be a little sore or still be a little achy. You've just got to get over it and you're going to play."

The challenge gets tougher when it's a team as good as Seattle.

"We've got to do a really good job in the film room, do a really good job just with the walk-throughs, because that's what the practices are going to be is glorified walk-throughs," Winston said. "We're going to have to be on top of our stuff. "

Notes: Wide receiver Brittan Golden, just up from the practice squad, pulled a hamstring on his 53-yard catch Sunday and is doubtful for the Seahawks, Arians said.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

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