Bethel underwent surgery to repair a fractured foot this week, which is expected to sideline the cornerback during OTAs, the Arizona Republic reports.
Bethel reportedly played through a "slight" fracture in the foot last season, yet he was forced into a starting role following Tyrann Mathieu's torn ACL in Week 15. In the following four contests (including playoffs), Bethel totaled 25 tackles (24 solo), four passes defended, and one interception. With Jerraud Powers exploring free agency, Bethel is currently penciled in as the starting cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson (ankle), but the upcoming NFL Draft and his recovery may impact his current standing.
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's recovery from right ankle surgery is expected to encompass 6-to-8 weeks, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
With knowledge of his recovery timetable coming to the fore, Peterson is a candidate to miss the entire offseason program, despite optimism that OTAs could be in his future in the aftermath of this week's procedure. Even if he fails to take the field before training camp, he's hopeful that he'll avoid any of the recurring issues from the past two campaigns, though his ironman status as a professional remains intact.
Though Amendola underwent a procedure on his left knee this offseason and also had bone spurs removed from his ankle, ESPN's Mike Reiss relays that he has been informed that the wideout's ailments have been portrayed as "minor" and "not a long-term" concern.
The report also encouragingly notes that Amendola's rehab "has been on a positive track and he's already moving well." While the wideout's on-field activities figure to be limited as training camp approaches, the ESPN report offers an optimistic angle which suggests that Amendola in on pace to be ready for the start of the coming season. In the meantime, with top wideout Julian Edelman bouncing back from foot woes, the likes of Chris Hogan, Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, Malcolm Mitchell and Devin Lucien should see added reps during the Patriots' upcoming OTAs and minicamps.
The Patriots are highly optimistic Edelman (foot) will be ready for training camp, CSN New England reports.
Edelman broke his left foot Nov. 15 and missed the rest of the regular season, but he returned for New England's two playoff games, catching 17 passes for 153 yards on a whopping 29 targets. He then had a minor clean-up procedure on his foot during the offseason, and while he was recently spotted wearing a protective boot, the Patriots reportedly aren't too concerned. Assuming he recovers as expected, Edelman could spend a good portion of camp working with Jimmy Garoppolo, who's in line to replace Tom Brady (suspension) for the first four games of the season. Though facing long odds, Brady may file further appeals in an effort to have his suspension overturned or delayed.
Although the Patriots continue to take a cautious approach, Lewis (knee) is progressing well in his recovery form a torn ACL, ESPN.com reports.
With training camp still two months away, the Patriots have no incentive to rush Lewis' progress. Having suffered his torn ACL in early November, Lewis will be 10 months removed from the incident by Week 1. If healthy, he figures to again work in tandem with LeGarrette Blount in the New England backfield. Lewis is believed to be on track for Week 1.
Brady and his legal team will file their appeal Monday of the four-game suspension that was reinstated April 25 for his alleged role in "Deflategate", the Boston Herald reports.
Brady will seek a second hearing by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will then have to decide by majority vote whether to rehear Brady's case. Should Brady be granted another hearing, he and the NFLPA's legal team are expected to present a case centered around commissioner Roger Goodell's mishandling of the situation, particularly as it regards to the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. Monday marked the last day for Brady to file his appeal, and if the court refuses to rehear the case, Brady could then appeal his four-game suspension to the Supreme Court.
Butler missed the Pro Bowl due to a sprained knee, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports. "There was a play on third down [in the AFC championship game] when I made a tackle or something like that and bent my knee back," Butler said Friday in San Francisco. "It swelled up pretty bad. I didn't feel it during the game because of all the adrenaline pumping. When we got back, it swelled up pretty bad, and the team just decided it was a good thing to sit me out."
Butler became instantly famous with his game-winning interception of Russell Wilson in last year's Super Bowl, and the loss of Darrelle Revis in free agency elevated him to the Patriots' No. 1 cornerback. The pseudo promotion worked wonders, as Butler notched 67 tackles (56 solo), 15 passes defended, and two interceptions while regularly drawing the opponent's top wide receiver over the course of his second campaign. While his recovery effort won't include surgery, rest and regular icing sessions have been his regimen to date.
Steward has been placed on injured reserve due to a back injury suffered in Sunday's win over Houston, BuffaloBills.com reports.
Starter Nigel Bradham may not be able to make it back from his ankle injury this week. If that doesn't happen, the Bills would be down their top two guys at the inside linebacker spot next to Preston Brown.