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Two Cards with contract beefs fail to practice

TEMPE – Wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett showed up for the Arizona Cardinals minicamp but begged off of workouts, citing injuries.

Both players are upset with their contract status, and both said they had injured hamstrings, coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

“They showed up last night and reported an injury that we weren’t aware of,” Whisenhunt said, “so as part of our procedure we sent them for MRIs. Hey, we know what’s going on, so I’m really not going to have much to say about that.”

Two other players with unsettled contract issues – linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Adrian Wilson – participated in Friday’s first workout, although Dansby was late because of what he said was a mix-up over what time the practice started.

Boldin and Dockett were on the field for the second workout Friday but did not practice. Afterward, Boldin was vague in his responses but said his stance had not changed since he asked to be traded nearly a year ago.

“Honestly, it’s out of my hands what’s going to be done,” he said. “This whole process has gone on long enough. I think it’s safe to say a lot of people are tired of it, myself included. So, hopefully something will get done sooner rather than later.”

Asked if he had given up hope of being traded, Boldin said, “I never give up hope. I’m optimistic about everything. Like I said, we’ll see what happens.”

He laughed when asked if he was making a point by sitting out the minicamp.

“I’m not making a point,” Boldin said. “I’m just not able to go right now.”

As for whether he would show up for training camp if he had no new contract by then, Boldin said, “We’ll see what happens. It’s too early to say what I will or won’t do.”

Boldin, a three-time Pro Bowler in his six NFL seasons, had been the subject of widespread trade rumors after the Cardinals said they would listen to offers. But no deal has been made and the team insists it wants to re-sign him once contracts issues with Dansby and Wilson are resolved.

Stafford back on field

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Matthew Stafford looked spectacular at times, fitting spirals in tight places and delivering pinpoint passes downfield.

It was easy to see why the Detroit Lions took him No. 1 in the NFL draft.

The strong-armed quarterback did, though, look like a rookie once in a while trying to impress his bosses.

He sailed some passes over receiver’s heads and could’ve been picked off more than once.

The true test, of course, will come in about four months when he might be the starting quarterback for the NFL’s first team coming off an 0-16 season.

For now, Stafford is just trying to learn as much as he can about a new offense and league after a whirlwind couple of weeks.

“It was good to play football again, golly, it’s been a while,” he said. “It’s just good to run around with the guys and be part of a team again.”

Harvin in hospital

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings first-round draft pick Percy Harvin has been hospitalized due to severe dehydration.

Coach Brad Childress said Harvin became ill Thursday on a flight to Atlanta. He had been scheduled to continue to the Twin Cities for the team’s weekend rookie minicamp.

However, the wide receiver vomited on the flight and was sent to an Atlanta hospital as a precaution. Childress also says doctors ruled out the swine flu.

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