Updates from Monday, Sept. 15
Head coach Bruce Arians commented on Tyrann Mathieu Week 2 performance via Bob McManaman of azcentral.com:
"He didn't play that much and he was disappointed. I would have liked to have seen him play more, too, but he's not ready to play that much yet. I think his role should increase this week. We'll see what packages we have for him and where we can put him in."
Updates from Sunday, Sept. 14
Tyrann Mathieu was not among the Cardinals' list of inactive players for Week 2:
Updates from Friday, Sept. 12
Kent Somers of azcentral.com reports Mathieu's official status for Sunday:
Mathieu is probable. Ellington, Palmer, Zastudil, questionable. Ellington practiced some on Friday, should play. Fanaika, Johnson, probable— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) September 12, 2014
Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona has an update on Mathieu's status for Sunday:
Bruce Arians said Rucker & Okafor are out Sunday. Other injured players (Mathieu. Palmer, Zastudil etc) are game times. Expect Palmer plays.— Craig Morgan (@cmorganfoxaz) September 12, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 10
Tyrann Mathieu's road to recovery continues to get closer reports Craig Morgan of FOX Sports Arizona:
#AZCardinals coach Bruce Arians said S Tyrann Mathieu is "very, very close" to playing.— Craig Morgan (@cmorganfoxaz) September 10, 2014
Updates from Monday, Sept. 8
Tyrann Mathieu's status for Week 1 vs. the Chargers has been confirmed by VP of Cards media relations Mark Dalton:
Updates from Thursday, Sept. 4
Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona provides an update on Tyrann Mathieu's recovery:
Bruce Arians noted safety Tyrann Mathieu missed a few tackles today and it looked "new" to him. Sounds like he's not ready to play Monday.— Craig Morgan (@cmorganfoxaz) September 4, 2014
Updates from Friday, Aug. 29
AZ Central's Kent Somers has the latest on Mathieu:
Arians said @Mathieu_Era needs to tackle b4 plays. Only one contact practice this week. didn't rule out opener but seems doubtful.— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) August 29, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 26
Bruce Arians updated Tyrann Mathieu's status for the Cardinals' final preseason game (via Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports Radio):
BA: Tyrann Mathieu will be a game time decision. AZvsSD— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) August 26, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 20
ESPN's Josh Weinfuss reports on Mathieu's status for Sunday's preseason game:
#AZCardinals S Tyrann Mathieu doesn't expect to play Sunday vs. Bengals.— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) August 20, 2014
Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports Radio has the latest on Mathieu:
Tyrann Mathieu will wear a brace on his knee for the entire season, he's not a big fan of it but it's what the doctors recommend. #CardsCamp— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) August 20, 2014
Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com also had more on Mathieu:
Mathieu and Ta'amu will only do individual drills today at practice, work slowly in. Matheiu said goal remains to play reg-season opener.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) August 20, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 19
Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com provides an update on Tryrann Mathieu's injury:
Updates from Monday, Aug. 18
Tyrann Mathieu is inching closer to a return according to ESPN's Adam Schefter:
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
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 12
Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com passed along comments from Bruce Arians and Tyrann Mathieu regarding the star DB's injury:
Arians said Mathieu and Ta'amu are close to coming off PUP. Maybe even next week. #CardsCamp— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) August 12, 2014
Tyrann Mathieu acknowledged he's been bugging Bruce Arians to take him off PUP. "But in a very polite way." #CardsCamp— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) August 12, 2014
Mathieu also spoke to Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 about getting back onto the field:
Tyrann Mathieu was in the midst of having an excellent rookie season with the Arizona Cardinals last year when he tore his ACL and LCL in a December game against the St. Louis Rams. Now, the player is hoping to make his return to the team sooner rather than later.
Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com provided comments from the 22-year-old defensive back regarding his status:
'I expect to be at practice the next two to three weeks,' Mathieu said. 'Hopefully we can stick to that timetable.'
The smile was in expectation of the next question, which was whether coach Bruce Arians was considering Mathieu’s plan.
'I shared it with him,' Mathieu said. 'I don’t think he takes me too seriously.'
Mathieu remains, with defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu, on the physically-unable-to-perform list. All along, it was doubtful Mathieu was going to be able to return in training camp.
More than likely, Mathieu will miss much of September. But his optimism is certainly a good sign.
Mathieu was a revelation last year for the Cardinals, playing both as a free safety and as the team's slot corner. So good was he in the latter role that Bleacher Report's Matt Miller named him the third-best cornerback in the NFL.
Mathieu finished last season with 68 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and two interceptions. He showed the ability to both cover receivers down the field and handle an opponent's slot receiver, all while flashing a nose for the ball and a surprising physicality.
Suffice it to say, he quickly made himself one of Arizona's most important defensive players. And the Honey Badger also made himself one of the team's more popular players, as Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports noticed in late July:
Tyrann Mathieu cheered as he walks sideline. Incredible how popular kid has become. Charismatic. #AZCardinals— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) July 26, 2014
While Mathieu's own timetable is probably a bit too eager for the doctors and the Cardinals coaching staff and front office, his return to the defense is vital. Arizona was sixth in total yards allowed and seventh in points allowed per game last year, and Mathieu's versatility was a big part of that success.
It appears Honey Badger has a long, fruitful career ahead of him. He may be rusty upon his return to the team, but there's no question that his presence will be a very welcome one in the Cardinals defense.
The team will need him fully healthy to contend in the talented NFC West, so it will likely remain patient with Mathieu and not rush him into action.