Bethel (foot) missed the entire offseason program, the Cardinals' official site reports.
After inking a three-year extension in early December, Bethel was pressed into starting duty within weeks due to Tyrann Mathieu's torn ACL in Week 15. Bethel subsequently tallied 25 tackles, four passes defended, and one interception in four games, including two postseason tilts. As the offseason proceeded, the team allowed veteran cornerback Jerraud Powers to leave via free agency, which placed Bethel at the top of the depth chart at cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson. However, Bethel's offseason has so far centered about rehab from surgery to repair a "slight" fracture in his foot. With no activity in the offseason program, he may have hindered his chances in pursuit of the gig, but the prudent approach is expected to ensure that he's 100 percent once training camp begins in late July.
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.
Peterson (ankle) took part in individual drills during the Cardinals' mandatory minicamp last week, the team's official site reports.
Peterson hasn't missed a game in his five-year career, but nagging ankle concerns seemingly forced the All-Pro cornerback under the knife as a preventive measure in mid-April. Handed a 6-to-8 week recovery timetable, his lack of participation in OTAs wasn't a surprise by any means. His return to drills during minicamp signals that his rehab is on schedule, though, with the aim of full health by the time training camp rolls around in late July.