7:44 P.M. MDT: Stephen Alexander’s movements are quite labored over on the near sideline; he’s attempting to walk, but is struggling to get anything more than a tepid gait going.
7:45 P.M. MDT: Nice dart from Darrell Hackney to Brian Clark for 11 yards up the middle, moving the Broncos to first-and-goal at the 2.
7:45 P.M. MDT: Touchdown, Andre Hall, right up the middle … he keeps the ball; it’s his first pro touchdown. (He had plenty back at South Florida, as some of our Tampa visitors to the blog are aware!) It’s 7-3, Broncos, after the PAT is good.
7:47 P.M. MDT: I reported in the first quarter that Alexander was favoring his right leg … but now, it looks like team medical personnel is looking at the tight end’s left leg. If we hear anything definitive, we’ll pass it on.
7:48 P.M. MDT: And here’s the update … Alexander has a bruised lower left leg and will not return tonight.
7:49 P.M. MDT: Paul Smith with the big hit after Steve Breaston returned Todd Sauerbrun’s kickoff 25 yards to the Arizona 20 … Smith rockin’ the black cleats. I like it. Old-school. My kind of guy.
7:50 P.M. MDT: Kurt Warner out; Shane Boyd in at quarterback for the Cardinals. Starting to see some different numbers in for the boys in blue; John Browning and Kenny Peterson are at the ends; T.J. Hollowell’s getting some time at outside linebacker.
7:53 P.M. MDT: Arizona on the move to its 45, now headed backwards after a holding infraction against Tim Euhus. (By the way, is it bad that I have to look at the flipcard to see who some of these guys on Arizona are? I know the Broncos by heart, but now that we’re on the third and fourth rung of the Cardinals roster, I’m having trouble with the instant recall.)
7:56 P.M. MDT: Domenik Hixon makes a fair catch of the punt at the Denver 8 … a few wanna-be coaches in the stands boo, asserting that he should have let that one go.
8:00 P.M. MDT: Kind of a balky series there as Denver goes three-and-out; Selvin Young gets four yards on a third-and-9, leaving the Broncos at their 13 as Sauerbrun comes onto the field.
8:01 P.M. MDT: Sauerbrun’s 51-yard punt was a line drive tht Steve Breaston returned 11 yards; he might have gotten more on the runback, but T.J. Hollowell helped guide him to the sideline, minimizing the return damage. Still, you’ll take a net of 40 yards on a punt, and the Cardinals will take over at their 47 with 7:41 left in the quarter.
8:04 P.M. MDT: Not good … after Karl Paymah made the tackle on that second-and-7 play, Hamza Abdullah and Jeff Shoate frantically signaled for help from the sidelines. Paymah lowered his helmet, and Steve Baylark’s knee collided with Paymah’s head.
8:06 P.M. MDT: Paymah is still being treated on the field as a phalanx of medical personnel huddles around him. A cart with a stretcher has made its way to within a few yards of the cornerback, who remains on the ground.
8:07 P.M. MDT: The silence in the stadium right now is eerie and haunting. Antwon Burton has his left arm draped around the shoulders of Abdullah, who teammed with Paymah at Washington State and roomed with him there and in Denver two years ago.
8:10 P.M. MDT: Paymah has left the field; he was lifted onto a stretcher and carted away. From my angle, I could not tell whether Paymah was moving any extremities. As soon as I hear any information, I will pass it along.
8:11 P.M. MDT: KOA-AM 850 reports that Paymah gave a thumb’s up to fans as he went into the tunnel.
8:12 P.M. MDT: Just announced — Paymah suffered a concussion and will be taken to the hospital as a precaution.
8:12 P.M. MDT: Oh, by the way, there’s a game going on … Arizona has moved to the Denver 20. Hard to get back in the mood for the game after seeing both Alexander and Paymah leave the game with injuries already tonight.
8:14 P.M. MDT: Jarvis Moss was looking a little labored after a play, but he stays in the game … good open-field tackle by Louis Green on Baylark pushes Arizona into third-and-12 from the Denver 18.
8:15 P.M. MDT: The third-down draw worked again … Shane Boyd runs for 10 yards on third-and-12. Edgerrin James got 11 yards on a first-quarter, third-and-10 draw. It’s the two-minute warning now, and Arizona will decide whether to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the 8.
8:17 P.M. MDT: Arizona going for it … goal-line formation … Boyd with the playfake … throws into traffic … ball bounces off Hollowell … eventually falls incomplete.
8:19 P.M. MDT: Mike Bell still at fullback … Andre Hall running behind Hall and tight end Tony Scheffler, but the runner didn’t have much place to go before getting slammed at the sidelined by Monty Beisel. Denver now has third-and-8 at the 10.
8:21 P.M. MDT: A great run by Hall on third-and-3 (after a Cardinals penalty), on which he showed some fine quickness into the open field … but it goes for naught, as a Mark Fenton holding penalty (which really didn’t impact the run all that much, frankly), moves the Broncos back to their 8 with third-and-10. Hackney then gets sacked as Chris Cooper sprinted through the right side of the Broncos line for a five-yard sack.
8:24 P.M. MDT: Great punt by Sauerbrun (52 yards) and some solid downfield coverage by Mike Leach and Nate Jackson, among others, who took advantage of Steve Breaston’s dancing upon fielding the punt. A net of 49 is what Denver needed there.
8:26 P.M. MDT: Arizona moves 19 yards … enough to set Neil Rackers up for a 50-yard field-goal attempt that sails wide left. Halftime, and Denver leads 7-3.