James cherishes another chance in playoffs

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Edgerrin James wasn't sure he'd ever get back in the lineup, let alone the playoffs. He is cherishing the opportunity.

James returned from an eight-game benching to bring a successful running game in the Cardinals' win against the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

The win allowed the Cards to advance to an NFC semifinal game at Carolina on Saturday night.

After James gained 7 yards in 17 carries and had a critical fumble in a 27-23 loss at Carolina on Oct. 26, coach Ken Whisenhunt benched the 30-year-old running back in favor of rookie Tim Hightower.

Whisenhunt said at the time he was going with the player he felt gave the team the best chance to be successful.

Whisenent now points to James' experience in nine playoff games with the Colts as a big reason for the switch.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)