Jake Plummer's sprained right thumb will keep him out of Arizona's preseason game Saturday at Seattle, and the Cardinals' quarterback wants to take a cautious approach as the injury heals.
"They've said seven to 10 days," Plummer said after he watched the Cardinals practice Monday. "By the end of this week I hope to be able to grip the football and have a little strength in it, maybe throw light tosses."
Plummer was injured on the third play of Friday night's home game against Tennessee when he was sacked by Mike Jones. Plummer was to be examined by a hand specialist on Monday to make sure the injury isn't more serious.
With the hand was wrapped in a tight bandage, Plummer joked about learning how important a thumb is.
"I realize that it does separate us from other mammals," he said. "I went and had some sushi and realized even using chopsticks is kind of tough."
Plummer might be back for Arizona's final preseason game at home against Oakland on Sept. 3. Regardless, he expects to be ready for the regular-season opener at Philadelphia on Sept. 12.
"I've just got to make sure I give it the right amount of time and not rush it," he said. "If I rush it, it might not heal all the way and could bother the velocity on my ball and gripping the ball and all that."
Plummer said he had no gripes about Jones grabbing his thumb.
"His hand hit the ball. I almost fumbled the ball," Plummer said. "I kind of wish I had fumbled it now because he wouldn't have held onto my thumb. I switched hands and he hung onto my thumb. It was just a defensive guy trying to make the sack and make the tackle."
"He's going to grab whatever he gets his hands on, and it happened to be my thumb. It wasn't a dirty play."
Plummer said he hasn't been injured since he was a freshman at Arizona State, a remarkable statistic considering how often he scrambles with the ball.
In Plummer's absence, former New York Giants starter Dave Brown will get extensive practice time with the first unit.
"It's good just to get going with guys like Frank Sanders and David Boston and some of the other guys I really haven't had a chance to work with," Brown said. "God forbid, if something does happen to Jake down the line, I think working with those guys a little bit more extensively in the preseason will help me out."
Coach Vince Tobin said he isn't sure how Plummer's absence will affect the quarterback rotation in the Seattle game. Normally, he said, the first-string quarterback would stay in the game into the third quarter, then would play fewer minutes in the following game.
But if Plummer can come back aginst Oakland, Brown and the rest of the first unit may play less this week.
Whatever happens, third-string quarterback Chris Greisen, a rookie who led Northwestern Missouri State to the NCAA Division II title last season, will see considerably more playing time than he would have otherwise.
Greisen has impressed the Cardinals' coaching staff.
"He's done very well," Tobin said. "He's a very mature young man. He's very poised, and he's got some ability."
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