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Could Tyrann Mathieu Be Ready for the Arizona Cardinals’ Season Opener?

May 19th, 2014 at 4:56 AM
By Steve Smith

'Tyrann Mathieu # 32' photo (c) 2013, Broderick Delaney - license:
What a boost it would be for the Arizona Cardinals if safety Tyrann Mathieu would be ready to return to action when the Red Birds face the San Diego Chargers in their 2014 NFL season opening game.

Now the question is – will he be able to take the field in Week One?

The LSU product, a third round pick of Arizona in the 2013 NFL Draft, tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee while returning a free kick in Week 14 last year against the St. Louis Rams, and initial reports had him out at least nine months. Last month, Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said he anticipated Mathieu to start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

However, Mathieu seems to be progressing nicely so far in his rehabilitation.

"We think there's a chance that he'll be back by the beginning of the season," Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim explained via "He has been a gym rat. He's in here all the time. We have to kick him out of the building and tell him 'Tyrann, go home for a little bit.' He's always in the training room doing his rehab."

That's a great sign. Recovering from both ACL and LCL surgery is certainly not easy, especially LCL surgery because the stability of the knee needs to be rebuilt. Coming back from an ACL injury has been expedited due to advances in technology over the past decade or so.

Youth is certainly on the "Honey Badger's" side – he just 22 years old and a superior athlete. Keim also does not want him to worry about specific timetables for his return.

"I told him, 'Ty, don't listen to anybody because nobody can tell you and pinpoint the exact return date. That's up to you,'" Keim stated. "And he's a machine. He's the kind of guy that I really think can come back a lot earlier than people anticipated."

That would be music to the ears of Arians, that's for sure.








Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Bruce Arians, Football, NFL, Tyrann Mathieu

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