FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals weren't hurting for storylines as the team broke training camp Tuesday at Northern Arizona University.
Unsettled situations at quarterback and offensive tackle continue to command attention, but the pending 2012 preseason debut of running back Beanie Wells also deserves consideration.
Wells has been practicing with the team following offseason knee surgery. The team expects him to play against Tennessee on Thursday, probably in a limited role.
Wells has shown good speed in practice from what I've seen this week. He did seem to favor the surgically repaired knee slightly when I watched him running hard Monday. Making it through a few live carries Thursday could help him take the next step in his return. Players often speak of clearing mental hurdles. The first big hit can be one of them. That was the case for the team's other top runner, Ryan Williams, who made his post-surgery debut against Oakland last week.
Wells and Williams have the potential to give Arizona an enviable one-two punch in the backfield. Wells topped 1,000 yards rushing as the team's power back last season. Knee trouble did slow him, however. Williams is the shiftier of the two. He was the most promising young player in camp a year ago until suffering a torn patella against Green Bay.
A few other notes from Cardinals practice Tuesday:
Tight end Todd Heap was back at practice less than 24 hours after suffering a stinger.
It would have been fun to listen in on defensive coordinator Ray Horton and receiver Larry Fitzgerald as they spoke at length along the far sideline during a special-teams portion of practice. I'm guessing they were talking football.
When Fitzgerald was on the field, he dazzled fans with a leaping reception over cornerback Larry Parker.
The comments Oakland's Tommy Kelly made questioning Kevin Kolb's mettle seem to have run their course. Left guard Daryn Colledge: "I'm not too worried about what Tommy Kelly thinks about our quarterback situation. ... I’ve got no problem with Kevin back there. I’ve got no problem with his fear. He’s a committed guy, he'll stay in and he’ll take hits just like anybody else."
Inside linebacker Daryl Washington is tending to a death in the family and will not play against the Titans. This game should give the Cardinals another chance to check out Reggie Walker, who played well against the Raiders and has drawn praise from coach Ken Whisenhunt.
I'll be driving down from Flagstaff to Phoenix before catching a flight back to Seattle's Russell Wilson International Airport. Or is it still called Sea-Tac?
Cardinals "Camp Confidential" to come this week.