Adrian Wilson to play for Cardinals in season opener vs. Panthers

Sep 9, 2011, 8:42 PM | Updated: 9:59 pm

Not even a torn bicep can stop Adrian Wilson.

The Pro-Bowl safety, out since the early parts of training camp with the injury, will suit up and play for the Cardinals when the season opens Sunday against the Panthers.

This may come as a surprise to some, but not Wilson himself.

“I’ve always been in good spirits,” Wilson said. “I never once doubted that I could come back.”

The injury Wilson suffered has caused others to lose entire seasons, so for him to be back just more than one month later is, well, a big boost for the team.

“I think guys recognize that Adrian’s a good football player,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “He was voted as a captain, so they have a lot of respect for him.

“So obviously we get a boost when he comes back.”

Yes, having a player of Wilson’s caliber on the field is a positive for a team that is hoping to erase the bad memories of 2010 and start anew.

But, like the calendar, the Cardinals have turned the page from the 5-11 campaign and are ready to move forward.

“It was a different set of circumstances, different team,” Wilson said of moving on. “Everything was different, so I think it’s a different attitude now as opposed to last year.”

And, as far as attitudes are concerned, Wilson’s may be the very reason why he recovered so quickly.

Whisenhunt said the safety stays in great shape, which certainly helped him recover, and didn’t stop working over the last month so that he’d be ready to go on September 11.

“He’s worked, he’s stayed up, he’s been to all his treatments, been in the meetings, stayed in tune with what’s going on,” he said.

The real question now is how effective the veteran will be. Whisenhunt said there will be no restrictions placed on the 31-year-old, who will be wearing a brace, and at this point it would probably be unwise to doubt what the guy can do on the field.

After all, he did come back from this injury.

“Anything’s possible,” Wilson said. “[The media] ruled me out; I never ruled myself out.”

Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this report

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