Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu had publicly made it his goal to return to action by week one after tearing an ACL in his left knee against the Rams last season. However, if he has his way he’ll be back on the field a bit sooner than that.
“I expect to be at practice the next two to three weeks,” Mathieu said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official website. “Hopefully we can stick to that timetable.”
When asked if his head coach Bruce Arians shared his optimism on the timetable, Mathieu responded: “I shared it with him. I don’t think he takes me too seriously.”
Mathieu is currently still on Arizona’s physically unable to perform list and there’s been no indication if the Cardinals will be looking to remove him from that list before the start of the season, or if they intend to leave him on it; which would render him inactive for the first six weeks of the year.
If he’s ready he should be able to play, but torn ACLs are tricky. If he returns too soon he could re-injure the knee and miss even more time. A player like Mathieu is most effective with quick, change of direction play and a bad wheel could hinder that lightning quickness that the Cardinals came to love so much.
Hopefully for Arizona he continues to recover appropriately and doesn’t rush things, so he can return to true “Honey Badger” form.