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  • Jan
    18

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    The injury bug could play a major role in this weekend’s NFL Conference Championship Games.

    On the positive side:

    For the Arizona Cardinals, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who missed last week’s victory over the Carolina Panthers with an injured hamstring, has been able to practice all week and is expected to play on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Boldin will not be 100%, but he should be able to run his normal pass routes and play a vital role in making the necessary possession catches. His presence will also take some pressure off of Larry Fitzgerald, who was expected to get double or triple coverage if Boldin did not see action.

    For the Philadelphia Eagles, Brian Westbrook has been dealing with a knee injury all season long. Westbrook practiced on Friday for the first time all week and is expected to play a full game on Sunday. He will not be limited by the injury and was able to play with the pain last week in the victory over the Giants.

    On the negative side:

    The Ravens will be hurting on the road at Pittsburgh. Cornerback Samari Rolle is listed as doubtful after he suffered an injury in the Ravens win over the Titans last week. Pro Bowl Linebacker Terrell Suggs is listed as questionable with a sprained right shoulder. He has had the shoulder in a sling or wrapped to his body all week. He did have an MRI during the course of the week and has improved each day, but will likely be a game-time decision. He has never missed a game in his 6 years with the Ravens. Wide Receiver Derrick Mason is also listed as questionable with a knee injury. This has bothered Mason all year and he has not missed any playing time, so he is expected to suit up and be ready to go.

    One of the more surprising injuries involves the Ravens’ Safety Ed Reed. He is bothered by a knee injury that limited him in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Reed is expected to play a full game on Sunday, but you hate to see one of your defensive stars come up with an injury before one of the biggest games of the season. The Ravens will need Reed and his NFL-leading 9 interceptions at the top of his game if they expect to pull of the upset in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

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