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Arizona Cardinals’ Tyrann Mathieu Close to Returning to Practice

August 13th, 2014 at 5:39 AM
By Steve Smith

Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu appears to be close to returning to the practice field.

Finally.

The "Honey Badger" could be back on the practice field as early as next week. The LSU product was placed on the PUP list at the start of training camp but appears ready to come out that list. He appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from a devastating left knee injury that ended his season on Dec. 8 last year against the St. Louis Rams.

Mathieu tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee while returning a punt in that contest. He's been running and cutting at nearly full speed on his own but the Red Birds won't rush him into a game. He's come a long way so there is no need to rush him back at this point.

"It's going to be exciting for me because I'm itching to hit somebody and I'm itching to get my hand on the ball," Mathieu told azcentral.com. "I'm tired of playing catch with the trainers."

You can't blame him. Mathieu was having an excellent rookie season with Arizona in 2013 before his campaign came to an abrupt end. He's been progressing well on his long road to full recovery.

"The trainers and doctors are very satisfied with the way I've progressed so far," Mathieu said. "The biggest thing is when I get out there, I don't want to slow anybody down. … Playing with our secondary this year, we're very talented, so for me to go out there and not go as hard, it's kind of disrespect to those guys. I want to make sure I'm 100 percent and I can just help those guys."

Mathieu's return would bolster a Cardinals secondary that could be one of the strongest in the NFL with Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie established as Arizona's starting cornerbacks.

Also,

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