Following up on an item in this week's Team Notes. ... Life without the injured Ryan Williams at running back begins Sunday against a Buffalo defense that allowed 621 yards to San Francisco, including 311 on the ground.
Utility back LaRod Stephens-Howling expects to return from a hip injury. He was limited Wednesday.
According to ESPN.com's Mike Sando, Arizona will presumably incorporate Stephens-Howling into its no-huddle offense and into its spread passing sets. Sando added "The Hyphen" is not an every-down back, but when healthy, Stephens-Howling provides big-play ability in doses.
The Cardinals did not sign a veteran back after losing Williams (for the season) and would-be starting back Beanie Wells (until Nov. 25).
William Powell and Alfonso Smith are the leading candidates to carry the ball on early downs.
Meanwhile, nothing has changed for the Cardinals’ quarterbacks.
Kevin Kolb is still going to be starting and John Skelton is still answering questions about his ankle.
Skelton has been practicing fully for a few workouts now, but his status remains a popular topic.
According to AZCardinals.com staffer Darin Urban, Skelton figured his ankle health, percentage-wise, is in the 90s.
“It’ll probably be like this for a while, until I really give it time to rest and settle down,” Skelton said. “I guess if need be, yes, I could play Sunday.”
Skelton, not surprisingly, said he was frustrated. “You’re a football player, so you want to be out there playing football,” Skelton said. “Not riding bikes and in the training room and such. (But) injuries are part of the game. It’s how you come back from them, how you deal with them.”
Kolb, meanwhile, said the Cardinals’ offense remains confident even with the poor showing in St. Louis.
“The plays are there,” Kolb said. “For the most part, we’ve been making them all year. We have a lot of talented guys on both sides of the ball and we have faith in them. ..."
Also of interest. ... In addition to Stephens-Howling (hip), Todd Heap was limited by the sprained knee that sidelined him the last two games.
Powell (head) practiced fully. ...
One last note here. ... Head coach Ken Whisenhunt, not surprisingly, said Stephens-Howling’s kick return duties will probably change now that the Cards need him more at running back.
“It doesn’t matter to me who’s back there doing it,” Whisenhunt said, knowing Powell and Andre Roberts can do it. “Will it affect (Stephens-Howling)? Probably it will, but if we needed him to go back there and do it I wouldn’t have any problem with that.”
For what it’s worth, the Cards’ depth chart did officially change this week, with Powell listed as No. 1 kickoff return man and Roberts No. 2, with Stephens-Howling not listed.