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The ‘Hyphen’ is hurting for the Cardinals

He may be the smallest player on the roster, but his contributions are anything but.

Standing 5-foot, 7-inches tall, LaRod Stephens-Howling is the Cardinals’ kickoff-return specialist and currently the number-two running back behind Beanie Wells.

However, he did neither during practice Wednesday.

Stephens-Howling joined tight end Jim Dray and linebackers Joey Porter and Daryl Washington on the sideline, rehabbing injuries.

Stephens-Howling hurt his hand “on a punt tackle” in the season-opening win against Carolina. “I tried to catch myself and jammed my wrist a little bit,” he explained as he had his right hand wrapped halfway up his forearm.

“Hopefully we’ll see if we can get the swelling down and be ready for Sunday.”

If Stephens-Howling can’t go this week at Washington, rookie Patrick Peterson is listed on the team’s depth chart as the backup to return kicks. However, Peterson also returns punts and is the starting right cornerback.

Alfonso Smith or Chester Taylor — neither of whom played against Carolina (Taylor was inactive) — would likely fill Stephens-Howling’s role as Wells’ back-up.

Dray did not practice — and hasn’t since the final preseason game because of a pectoral injury.

Porter was sidelined with a knee problem.

Washington is dealing with a calf strain.