The Arizona Cardinals boasted a top 10 defense in 2013, in no small part thanks to the contributions of veteran defensive end John Abraham.
Signed to be a situational pass rusher before the season started, Abraham ended up playing more snaps than expected and delivering excellent results with a season total of 11.5 sacks. It will be good news for the Cardinals, then, when Abraham finally reports to training camp in preparation for the 2014 season.
The veteran’s absence from training camp to date has been somewhat mysterious, with an off-season DUI arrest lingering as a possible issue. According to general manager Steve Keim, Abraham is expected to report to camp soon. As told by Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com:
Arizona general manager Steve Keim said Wednesday he expects Abraham “sooner than next week.” If the five-time Pro Bowler were to return before the Cardinals head to Minnesota for Saturday’s preseason game against the Vikings, he’d have to join the team either Thursday or early Friday…
…Keim wouldn’t comment on why Abraham hasn’t reported almost three weeks after training camp began.
As for the plan with Abraham once he does arrive, it sounds like the Cardinals expect to ease him back into things:
“He’s got to work himself back into playing shape,” Keim said. “A guy coming off 11.5 sacks at 35 years old, you’d like to think that he’s going to still be able to contribute. He’s just got to get his legs back underneath him.”
That’s a fine line for the Cardinals, of course, as they want to make sure Abraham has his legs underneath him, as it were, without putting any extra or unnecessary miles on him before the season starts.
Such is the situation they will handle once Abraham actually arrives.