Cards bruised in first half; Warner back
It was a rough first half for the Cardinals on Saturday.
Quarterback Kurt Warner, Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and safety Antrel Rolle all left Arizona's NFC divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints after suffering first-half injuries.
Warner left with a chest injury after a hard hit on an interception return late in the second quarter. The injury occurred after he was intercepted by Will Smith, then hit by defensive end Bobby McCray. Warner was pursuing Smith when McCray knocked him down.
Warner returned to the game for the Cardinals' first possession of the second half, with Arizona trailing 35-14.
The 38-year-old quarterback stayed on the ground for a while before walking off under his own power. Backup Matt Leinart came in for the next drive, after the Saints had scored a touchdown to take a 35-14 lead.
Warner missed a game with a concussion earlier this season, and there's been widespread speculation he is about to retire.
Rodgers-Cromartie left the game late in the first quarter with a sprained left knee. The Pro Bowl defensive back went down with 2:59 remaining in the quarter while trying to defend a short pass to Devery Henderson. He was helped off the field, and his return was doubtful.
Rodgers-Cromartie is a key part of a beleaguered secondary that
allowed Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers to throw for 422 yards last
weekend. The Cardinals won that game 51-45 in overtime.
Rolle also left in the first half with a head injury and his return was questionable. It was not clear when Rolle was injured.
The Cardinals are already playing without two other key players.
Wide receiver Anquan Boldin and linebacker Gerald Hayes were
declared inactive before the game.
Boldin has been nursing left ankle and knee injuries since the Cardinals' regular-season finale against Green Bay. He was inactive for last weekends playoff victory over the Packers.
Hayes injured his a right ankle last weekend.