Dec 8, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals player Tyrann Mathieu (32) reacts as he is taken off the field after suffering an injury in the third quarter against the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Tyrann Mathieu, the “honey badger”, had a very solid rookie campaign in 2013. He recorded 68 tackles and also grabbed 2 interceptions. In the NFL, it is very difficult for a rookie to make an immediate impact especially when the player was drafted outside of the 1st round, like in Mathieu’s case.
Tyrann Mathieu started 13 straight games before suffering a torn ACL, which ended his season and held him back this year with no participation in training camp (thus far). The Cardinals organization have not shown any sense of optimism on the condition of Mathieu or if he will be available for the season opener.
There has even been speculation that Mathieu will start on the PUP list which would guarantee Mathieu to miss (at least) the first 6 weeks of the regular season. It would be devastating for the Arizona Cardinals to lose one of their starting safeties for a large portion of this season.
There has been a brief sense of optimism for Cardinal fans, though, as Mathieu has stated recently, he expects to be back much sooner than most would think.
From Darren Urban of the Arizona Cardinals’ team website, Mathieu stated,
"“I expect to be at practice the next two to three weeks.”"
As Arizona Cardinal supporters, we all love to hear our players doing their best to get back on the field as soon as possible. With that being said, an ACL injury is one of the most severe injuries in the NFL and takes a lot of time to recover from.The average timetable is usually 9-12 months. As of today, it has been only 8 months since Mathieu injured his knee.
While Mathieu expects to be back soon, the Arizona Cardinals’ organization might think differently. Any smart NFL team knows it is always best to play it safe if they have an up and coming player which they expect big things from.
So now I will leave up to you Cardinal fans. If you were part of the Cardinals’ organization, would you recommend to throw Tyrann Mathieu into practice as soon as he gets cleared or would you play it safe and leave Mathieu on the PUP list to start the season?