Mathieu's (knee) availability in Week 1 against the Patriots will be dependent upon his health, the Arizona Republic reports. "If I'm 90 percent, then I don't necessarily want to go out there," he said Sunday. "But if I'm 100 percent, I definitely want to be out there." Embedded within his second rehab effort from a torn ACL -- the other occurred near the end of his rookie year in 2013 -- Mathieu's reticence to take the field isn't a shock, especially after logging just 13 games in a generally subpar 2014 season. With an unimpeded offseason under his belt last fall, he was the centerpiece of the Cardinals' defense, accumulating 89 tackles (80 solo), five interceptions (one for a touchdown), one sack, and one forced fumble in 14 contests. The season-ending injury resulted in a less imposing unit that was ultimately embarrassed in the NFC championship by the Panthers, which his representatives are likely pointing during the ongoing conversation about a contract extension. No matter if the sides come to an agreement, Arizona could be without its starting slot corner, if he deems himself unready.
Mathieu (knee) and his representatives are deep in discussions with the Cardinals over a long-term contract extensions, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports. Mathieu is coming off his second ACL tear in three years since entering the league, but has proven to be one of the most unique defensive playmakers during his time in Arizona. Prior to his injury late last season, Mathieu registered 89 tackles, five interceptions and one defensive touchdown, emerging as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate along the way. Despite his injury history, Mathieu's upcoming extension reportedly could make him the NFL's highest-paid safety, giving him the sort of long-term stability to ensure he doesn't rush his return to the field.
Mathieu isn't targeting a specific date for his return to the field from a torn ACL in his right knee, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports. "I don't really want to rush it," Mathieu said recently. "Whenever I'm comfortable, that's when I want to go out there." Mathieu's cautious approach has basis in fact, as the injury that ended his rookie season in 2013 (ACL and LCL tears in his left knee) sapped his effectiveness in the subsequent campaign. Fortunately for the defensive back, this particular recovery effort has been "so much easier" when compared with his previous rehabilitation. While his activity level was non-existent in the aftermath of the first surgery, he's already progressed to running on a treadmill in a harness, and there's a belief that he's only a few months away from wearing a helmet and kicking off football drills. No matter the path he takes, the offseason may include a contract extension at some point after he achieved the first Pro Bowl and All-Pro bids of his career this past season.
Mathieu said Saturday that his rehab from a torn ACL in his right knee is "going well," Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 Phoenix reports. In the course of the conversation at an autograph signing, Mathieu relayed his belief that he's progressing better in what marks the second ACL tear of his career. He also confirmed that the Cardinals have reached out to his representation regarding a contract extension, which has been mentioned by NFL.com as one of the organization's top priorities this offseason. Because Mathieu doesn't turn 24 until May, he has room to build off the first Pro Bowl and All-Pro campaign of his career, as long as he remains healthy.
The Cardinals will consider a contract extension for Mathieu during the offseason, Conor Orr of NFL.com reports. For the second time in his three-year career, Mathieu's season came to a close due to a torn ACL, but not before he proved himself to be one of the NFL's top safeties. In just 14 games, he was among the Cardinals' leading tacklers with 89 on the ledger, which he supplemented with five interceptions (including one pick-six), one sack, and one forced fumble. While it's arguable to invest too much in a player coming off serious knee injuries, medical science has made leaps and bounds in recent years, meaning teams have less to worry about in such scenarios.
|1||09/12||New England Patriots||7|
|2||09/18||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6|
|4||10/02||Los Angeles Rams||30|
|5||10/07||@San Francisco 49ers||15|
|6||10/18||New York Jets||14|
|10||11/13||San Francisco 49ers||15|
|15||12/18||New Orleans Saints||22|
|17||01/01||@Los Angeles Rams||30|