Updates from Wednesday, July 2
At this point, Mathieu figures he is about “60, 70 percent” running. He is back to his normal weight room routine. He has begun to do some cutting during his rehab, and assistant athletic trainer Chad Cook said Honey Badger is close to returning to football activities.
In fact, Mathieu said he is holding out hope that when training camp begins in less than a month, he will be able to don a helmet and shoulder pads and at least do individual drills with the rest of the defensive backs (allowing that he won’t be in 11-on-11 work right away.)
Updates from Monday, June 16
Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com provides a statement from Tyrann Mathieu discussing his recovery:
It’s a long process, and it’s going to continue to be a long process. I just try to come to work every day, stay on top of my rehab and just continue to push myself. I don’t try to get too down about it, and I don’t try to get too up, too excited. My knee’s feeling good. I just take it as it comes.
Urban also confirmed that Mathieu stated he still hopes to play in the team's season opener. Urban then provided a statement from Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians discussing Mathieu's status:
That’s strictly up to the doctors, trainers and them. I’m not going to hurry them. We have plenty of time. If they aren’t ready for the first day of training camp — which I doubt anyway, because I’ve never thought that. I had Oct. 1, or after the (bye week) as the target date for me personally. If they do something better than that, God bless ‘em.
Updates from Monday, May 19
John Weinfuss of ESPN.com provides a statement from Cardinals general manager Steve Keim discussing Tyrann Mathieu's recovery on SiriusXM Radio with Adam Schein:
We think there's a chance that he'll be back by the beginning of the season.
He has been a gym rat," Keim said. "He's in here all the time. We have to kick him out of the building and tell him 'Tyrann, go home for a little bit.' He's always in the training room doing his rehab.
I told him, 'Ty, don't listen to anybody because nobody can tell you and pinpoint the exact return date. That's up to you. And he's a machine. He's the kind of guy that I really think can come back a lot earlier than people anticipated.
Updates from Friday, April 25
Tyrann Mathieu provides an update on his recovery:
I just did lateral movements, ran my first 50 yards, and backpedal for the first time on field. I must say I feel damn good .— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) April 25, 2014
Updates from Thursday, April 24
Ed Werder of ESPN has the latest on Tyrann Mathieu:
Tyrann Mathieu doing straight-line running but lot of unknowns remain for Cardinals as to when he returns. If he's on PUP, Week 4 bye helps.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) April 24, 2014
Arizona Cardinals star defensive back Tyrann Mathieu tore his ACL and LCL in Week 14 last season, so it comes as little surprise that he isn't likely to be ready for the start of training camp for the 2014 NFL campaign.
Kent Somers of AZCentral.com reports Wednesday that Mathieu is on schedule as he grinds through rehabilitating his left knee. However, head coach Bruce Arians says that he still expects the youngster to be on the physically unable to perform list.
"I think Ty is going to up to the wire," said Arians, per Somers' report. "I still anticipate him on PUP, but he refuses to believe it. That's a good thing."
Mathieu was questioned about Arians' comments and didn't know what the PUP list was, but added that he was indeed still optimistic he'd be on the field for camp.
"Like I said, when my team takes the field, I want to take the field, too," said Mathieu. "I don't know if I'll be pushing it but it's what I want. I'll be shooting for that."
The team should get as much as it can out of Mathieu now and preserve him with the future in mind. After being a third-round draft pick last year and sliding due to off-field concerns, Mathieu has the potential to be a franchise cornerstone in the desert.
Pro Football Focus' Pete Damilatis alluded to the interesting future that could await Mathieu down the line:
Tyrann Mathieu is a CB, Cardinals list him as a S. If you thought Jimmy Graham's franchise tag dispute was bad, just wait 3 yrs.— Pete Damilatis (@PFF_Pete) April 10, 2014
There's little reason for the Cardinals to rush the dynamic 21-year-old defensive back into the lineup. There is enough depth in the secondary between cornerbacks Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie and Jerraud Powers to cover for Mathieu while he takes as much time as he needs to recover from his major knee injury.
As long as Mathieu can stay focused on his rehabbing and continue to stay out of trouble away from the gridiron, he should continue to shine for Arizona. The Cardinals would love to have him back sooner than later, though, since they won 10 games this past season even in a difficult NFC West division and benefited from Mathieu's presence on defense.