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Arizona Cardinals' Bruce Arians (chest) released from hospital

By The Sports Xchange
Arizona Cardinals head football coach Bruce Arians watches the action against the St. Louis Rams in the fourth quarter at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on December 6, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Following their latest loss -- a 26-20 defeat at the Minnesota Vikings -- the Arizona Cardinals appear to be one more loss away from being eliminated from the NFC playoff race.
And it might even be worse than that as the team could be without its head coach for this week's likely make-or-break game on the road against the Atlanta Falcons.
Bruce Arians was hospitalized early Monday morning after complaining of chest pains. Early test results were deemed "favorable," and he was released from the hospital and returned home Monday night.
Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said of Arians' return to coaching, "I think it's going to be fairly soon. I think everything's checked out pretty good. He's anxious to get out and get back to work. I'm sure we'll see him at the facility pretty soon."
Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald spoke with Arians on Monday but didn't find it his place to say whether or not the 64-year-old coach would be on the sideline in Atlanta.
"This is not the first time coach has been sick and he has got the same mentality we do as players; we push through," Fitzgerald said, noting Arians was hospitalized in August because of stomach pains when the team was in San Diego holding joint preseason practices with the Chargers. "I don't want to speculate on what's going to happen because that's not for me, but we all hope he's there and he will be able to go out there with us on the field."
If Arians isn't able to make it, assistant head coach Tom Moore would likely take over as temporary head coach with additional help from offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin.
No matter who is in charge, Fitzgerald said that after speaking with Arians earlier in the day on Monday that the team needs to maintain its focus more than ever.
"We know what he would expect from us," Fitzgerald said. "When we talked to him when he got sick in San Diego he said, 'Don't allow what happened to me to be a distraction.' We still have to focus. The last thing he said to me was we need a win this weekend. I know where his mind is and we all know what's expected of us, and we need to play better and perform at a higher level."
In addition to letting quarterback Carson Palmer get hit a staggering 19 times, the Cardinals also became the first team since 1962 to allow two returns of 100 yards as Minnesota's Xavier Rhodes returned a Palmer interception 100 yards for a score and Cordarrelle Patterson returned the second-half kickoff 104 yards for another touchdown.
Arizona also had problems with penalties, tackling and holding on to passes. Though the Cardinals owned the edge in total yards, first downs gained and time of possession, they came up short once again.
"It's a broken record," general manager Steve Keim said. "You know, another game where statistically you look at the sheet and it says one thing and the loss column tells you another and you know, it's getting old.
"We've got to fix that and that comes down to making plays, minimizing mistakes, particularly mental mistakes, and stepping up when it's time to make that play from your playmakers, the guys that you're counting on, and we haven't done that and that's no secret."
Asked if there was a particular recurring theme which is leading to the losses following a successful 13-3 campaign a year ago, Keim said, "It's hard to put my finger on it."
Linebacker Kevin Minter may have summed things up best for the slumping Cardinals.
"We're either going to make this push or we're not," he said. "What are we going to do, step up or shut up?"
Arizona Cardinals' Bruce Arians (chest) released from hospital Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 12:30 AM Rating: 5

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