As camp approaches, some of the Cardinals have begun to leak back into the building, getting in a morning workout. Most of the weight room has been cleared out, with the equipment moved to University of Phoenix Stadium for use at camp, but that didn’t stop guys like Lyle Sendlein, Calais Campbell, Frostee Rucker, Sam Acho and Marcus Benard (among others) today.
Also here were the two key rehabbers: safety Tyrann Mathieu and nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu. Both are expected to be on the physically unable to perform list when camp opens. It doesn’t mean their rehab has gone poorly or slow. But the reality is both ripped up their ACLs late in the season and coming back at the beginning of camp not only doesn’t make a lot of sense it’s probably not fair to ask.
The rehab from a torn ACL carries with it a lot of uncertainty. Uncertainty of a timeline, uncertainty of what you can do even when you’re out there doing it on the field. Playing in a game is one thing. But will you be Adrian Peterson, or Robert Griffin III? One-time Cardinals tight end Stephen Spach ripped up his ACL in the Carolina playoff game during the Super Bowl run. He was back on the field six months later, although he said “there is a difference between being able to play and compete and getting to where you feel like it never happened.” It took tight end Jake Ballard a couple years to feel right, although in Ballard’s case, he had other damage besides the ACL.
Ta’amu was hurt almost a month after Mathieu but his injury was only the ACL. Mathieu had other injuries, but his rehab has gone well and he has worried less about what he can do when he plays again and more how quickly he can actually play. Both guys are key pieces to the defense. The one guarantee: The Cardinals will be better when they get back on the field.
— In other news, Mathieu has decided to change agents. It’s not altogether a surprise, since Patrick Peterson — who also had Pat Lawlor as an agent when he came into the league — dropped Lawlor in favor of Joel Segal. What will be interesting to see is if Mathieu, who looks up to Peterson, decides he too will use Segal. Unlike Peterson, Mathieu is going into only his second year of a four-year contract and any new contract is much further down the road. Peterson, of course, is already in (early) talks for a contract extension.
Tags: agents, Alameda Ta'amu, Jake Ballard, Patrick Peterson, PUP, Stephen Spach, training camp, Tyrann Mathieu
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Oh, the report day always turns into a whirlwind after hours of waiting. I tweeted this earlier (again, follow me on @cardschatter for the most immediate updates as I float around the NAU campus for camp), but RB Beanie Wells and TE Jeff King were placed on the active physically unable to perform list as camp opens.
What does this mean? Nothing urgent. To start with, players can come off at any time — players on the PUP list to start the regular season must miss the first six games, but up until then, it is flexible. In both players’ cases, coach Ken Whisenhunt said he doesn’t anticipate either being down long. It was a procedural thing, Whisenhunt said, and the players will be evaluated tomorrow and as the time goes on to see where they are.
Whisenhunt said he expected both would be on PUP, and reiterated Wells has made a lot of progress coming back from knee surgery. Of course, nothing is proven until Wells actually starts practicing, but the Cards were always going to bring Wells along slowly in the preseason, and if Wells’ current predicament is bothering Whisenhunt, he certainly doesn’t show it. The coach still sounds confident in Wells when it will mean something.
Tags: Beanie Wells, Jeff King, PUP
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