Robert Nkemdiche Reportedly out 2-3 Weeks with Calf Injury

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2017

Sep 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (90) against the Denver Broncos during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche will be forced to the sidelines after suffering a left calf strain in practice, Arizona Sports' Mike Jurecki reported Wednesday.

According to Jurecki, Nkemdiche could miss two to three weeks, which would rule him out for the remainder of the preseason. The Cardinals have two more preseason games before opening the regular season against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 10.

Nkemdiche was a first-round pick in the 2016 draft, but it was a forgettable rookie year for the raw athlete.

He was slowed by an ankle injury and only appeared in five games and barely made an impact for a team that struggled to a 7-8-1 record. 

Despite the disappointing start to his career, the young player worked hard in the offseason in order to earn a bigger role in 2017.

"He's changed," teammate Frostee Rucker said of Nkemdiche in May, per Darren Urban of the team's official site. "For the good. He's changed."

"I know he's trying to become a dominant player," Rucker added. "He's trying to step up and make his name and make a role for himself, and that's all you can ask of him."

While the latest injury could be a setback, Nkemdiche still possesses tremendous upside and will continue working until he reaches his potential.

In the meantime, Rucker, Rodney Gunter, Josh Mauro and Ed Stinson will see playing time in the rotation at defensive tackle to help keep the Cardinals defense running strong.