The Cardinals signed Rucker to a one-year contract Friday, Kyle Odegard of the team's official site reports.
The last two seasons have been injury-riddled for Rucker, who mentioned in January that his return to play another season at 34 years old would be contingent upon his health. After earning just 28.3 percent of the defensive snaps in 2016, in part due to sprained MCL that sidelined him for three games, he's merely a rotational defensive end at this point in his career. Having said that, Rucker could be in line for a bit more work in the upcoming campaign following the departure of long-time D-end Calais Campbell.
Rucker (undisclosed) will make a decision on his future once he grows healthier, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports. "I just want to rehab and feel better, and then make my decision," he said recently. "I played through a couple injuries this year -- and not like everyone else doesn't have to -- but it was a tough road for me [last] offseason and I want to give myself and my body a chance."
Rucker spent the bulk of last offseason recovering from ankle surgery, limiting the defensive end to one preseason appearance. He then kicked off the 2016 campaign with a sprained MCL, which forced DNPs from Weeks 2 through 4. Although he played out the rest of the schedule, he picked up just 28.3 percent of the Cardinals' defensive snaps and didn't record a sack for the first time since 2007. As he mentioned, Rucker's upcoming unrestricted free agency will be contingent upon his health.
Rucker was questionable in the lead up to Thursday's game after sitting out since injurying his knee in Week 1. He practiced in a limited fashion this week and will be expected to slide back into the starting lineup, meaning that Rodney Gunter will likely see a reduction in reps.
Rucker did not practice this week after not playing in Week 3. Rodney Gunter projects to start at defensive end once again.
Rucker wasn't able to practice throughout the week as his status for Sunday's matchup doesn't look good. In his potential absence, Rodney Gunter figures to get the start at defensive end.
|P3||8/26/17||@ ATL||7:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|5||10/8/17||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ LAR||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/5/17||@ SF||4:05 pm|
|11||11/19/17||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ SEA||4:25 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|