TEMPE, Ariz. -- Speed has long caught the eye of Arizona coach Bruce Arians.
Couple that with the ability to catch the football and Arians will give a player a long look, hence why the Cardinals promoted wide receiver Brittan Golden to the active roster on Oct. 8. A few days later, he broke past San Francisco cornerback Carlos Rogers for a 53-yard catch during a three-play drive that ended with a touchdown.
But as quickly as Golden made an impact -- he also had a crucial block during Larry Fitzgerald’s 75-yard touchdown -- Golden was sidelined with a pulled hamstring, Arians said, and is doubtful for Thursday's game against Seattle.
“That’s exactly why we activated him and put him in and had his own package,” Arians said. “Then he pulls a hamstring on his first play, so we go back to another one.”
Golden said Tuesday he hopes to be out a week, but two might be a possibility. He received a cortisone shot this week and said he felt better. Golden didn’t practice during the open portion of Tuesday’s walk-through.
Sunday was his first NFL game after a rookie season spent bouncing between teams and practice squads. To injure his hamstring after that kind of debut was frustrating, he said.
Second guessing 2-points: After Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd for a 10-yard touchdown with 8:17 left in the third quarter, Arians opted to try a two-point conversion. It failed, the 49ers led 22-20 and the Cardinals could never make up the difference.
Arians’ decision was questioned far and wide for being too risky too early. But he defended his decision.
“It’s the feel of the game,” Arians said. “But it’s usually going into the late third. The points will add up and I felt like we were going to score again, so there was no need to do it.
“At that point in time, I felt like we had the right time, the right momentum and we just didn’t execute right.”
Arians called for cornerback Patrick Peterson to throw the pass, but he waited a few moments too long and missed an open Fitzgerald in the back of the end zone.
Take what you can get: When it comes to stretching for more yards in the second half of a two-point game, Arians wants his players to get what they can and nothing more. He was referring fumbles by Fitzgerald and running back Alfonso Smith, in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
“You would never anticipate that,” Arians said. “You would never anticipate ball security being an issue in that part of the game. When you’re fighting for this much, that doesn’t make too much sense -- reaching the ball out and it almost happened again later.
“Alfonso’s fumble, we were in a two-minute situation. You don’t fight for yards, get the first down and you get down and you hand the ball to the referee and you get back. You don’t keep fighting for a half of a yard. At this point in the game, a half-yard doesn’t mean crap. It’s playing smarter.”