The Cardinal’s third round pick last year tore his ACL and LCL in his left knee in the Dec. 8 game against the St. Louis Rams with about nine minutes left in the third quarter on a free kick return after the Cardinals recorded a safety.
Head coach Bruce Arians said the timeline was nine months and later said he didn’t expect Mathieu until October 1, but after Mathieu said in early August that he was two weeks away from practicing, that timeline was moved up.
After the Cardinals lost Darnell Dockett to a season-ending ACL tear on Monday, the Cardinals now have reason for optimism in the case of their free safety, Mathieu.
Cardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu, who tore ACL and LCL last Dec, will come off PUP Tuesday; now some optimism he will play in Arizona’s opener.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 18, 2014
Mathieu started 11 of the 13 games he appeared in last year with 65 solo tackles, two interceptions, nine pass deflections and one forced fumble.
Prior to the injury, the former Heisman finalist at LSU was on his way toward a potential Defensive Rookie of the Year honor with his play in the secondary.
If he can return to full health this season, he will give the Cardinals an infusion in the defensive backfield, which could be tested often this year considering the questions the Cardinals now have in the front seven.