TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -Anquan Boldin returned to practice for the Arizona Cardinals on Monday, just over three weeks after he was injured on a vicious hit by the New York Jets' Eric Smith.
``I'm feeling good enough to put a helmet back on now,'' he said after the light workout.
The standout wide receiver was scheduled to see the doctor on Tuesday and hoped to gain medical clearance to play Sunday, when the Cardinals are at Carolina.
``I feel like I'm ready to go,'' he said. ``That's what I've been working toward these past couple of weeks, getting back on the field after the bye week.''
Boldin underwent surgery to repair a sinus fracture and wasn't able to eat solid food until about a week ago. He said he lost 10 pounds, but regained it when he was able to return to eating solid foods and lifting weights.
g seconds of the Cardinals' 56-35 loss to the Jets when he went up in the air to try to catch a pass in the end zone.
He was hit from behind on the play, then took a helmet-to-helmet shot from Smith from the front. Smith was fined $50,000 and suspended for a game because of the hit.
Boldin repeated his belief that it was just ``an unfortunate incident'' and nothing malicious.
``A guy hit me from the behind so I couldn't absorb the blow like I usually do from in front,'' Boldin said. ``... My helmet kind of lifted up and the guy hit me square on.''
He said he's seen video of the hit a few times, and repeated that it will have no impact on his trademark bruising style.
``The way that I approach the game won't change,'' he said. ``The way that I play won't change.''
Without Boldin, the Cardinals beat Buffalo and Dallas, then had last weekend off.
``We got a little bit (from him) last week, but to see him have the helmet on and go through some of the drills was good to see,'' Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said the return of Boldin would make a good Arizona offense even better.
``I'm ecstatic,'' Fitzgerald said. ``Q's a big part of what we're able to do on offense. With him back this offense is so much more versatile. He can line up in the backfield, he can play quarterback, he can be in the slot, he can be outside. It just gives the defenses more things to prepare for, and it gives me the opportunity to make some deep plays.''
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