Updated Nov 29, 2012 - 1:34 pm
Cardinals' Calais Campbell: 'I'm very optimistic about return'
After missing his team's last two games with a calf injury, Cardinals defensive tackle Calais Campbell will most likely be making his return to the field this Sunday against the New York Jets.
"I'm very optimistic," said Campbell about the possibility of his return. "I thought I was ready to go last week and it was hard not being able to go. But I'm feeling very strong and explosive and just trying to get it one day at a time."
With a defense that is currently ranked seventh in the league allowing 327.9 yards per game, most of the blame for the Cardinals recent misfortunes has been placed on the team's poor pass protection and lack of scoring. But after spending back to back games on the sideline, Campbell said he's just ready to get back out and help his team right the ship.
"It's hard watching on the sideline knowing you can make a difference," said Campbell. "It's hard watching the team lose. The defense is playing strong in my absence and I'm proud of them but I'm hungry to get back in there and try and help them make some plays."
With the return of Campbell, the Cardinals will be welcoming back their second dynamic playmaker in as many weeks. Running back Beanie Wells made his return to the field last week after missing the majority of the season with turf toe. With Kevin Kolb, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, LaRon Byrd and Kerry Rhodes all suffering from their own ailments, Campbell said the recent string of injuries has affected team play but felt the players handled the adversity like any great team should.
"I think we tried to overcome a few [injuries] and I think we did well. You never want to make excuses but injuries do hurt," said Campbell.
Lining up against a struggling Jets offense, Campbell said he was prepared for a strong running attack awaiting the Cardinals at MetLife Stadium this Sunday.
"They're a powerhouse running team," said Campbell. "They have a really good back in Shonn Greene. He runs hard and makes good reads and the offensive line is pretty strong. They can open up some holes."
When asked about the presence of the two prominent QBs on the opposing sideline, Campbell stressed that preparation would be key to combating a possible dual quarterback attack.
"They do some tricky stuff with Tim Tebow in there and [Mark] Sanchez at the same time," said Campbell. "So you really have to watch some film and be prepared for all of the different looks they're going to give us. If you don't prepare to see [Tebow] he's going to get in there and he's going to be able to beat you. So you have to be able to prepare for him because he's a good opponent and he's a good player."
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