Mathieu supplied 78 tackles (70 solo), two interceptions, one forced fumble and one sack in 16 games during the 2017 season.
For the first time in five NFL campaigns, Mathieu wasn't bit by the injury bug in 2017. The development allowed him to play all but six of the Cardinals' 1,062 snaps on defense and 43.1 percent of the team's special-teams snaps en route to the league lead in overall snaps (1,263). Considering he put up 89 tackles and five interceptions, including a pick-six, in 14 games two years ago, Mathieu isn't operating at his previous potential. Instead, he appears to have found a happy medium between health and production as he enters the second season of a five-year contract.
Mathieu recorded his second pick of the season in Sunday's victory over the Jaguars.
Mathieu added four solo tackles to go with the interception he recorded late in the fourth quarter. The 25-year-old was the only Cardinals player to see all 64 defensive snaps. He figures to continue seeing a heavy workload going forward.
Mathieu logged five solo tackles in Sunday's win over the Buccaneers.
Mathieu was on the field for 69 of a possible 70 snaps in the contest. Outside of an interception in Week 2, the 25-year-old has been relatively quiet this year. Given his heavy workload, the LSU product figures to see some more activity in the turnover department as the season progresses.
Mathieu (knee) is fully healthy and has participated in the early days of OTAs, Adam Green of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM reports. "It's just exciting to get back out there, especially with how last year, how it ended up playing out," Mathieu said. "Just a good feeling to be healthy again and just back out there on a football field 100 percent."
Mathieu -- who was on the mend from a 2015 ACL tear and a 2016 shoulder subluxation -- has been a playmaker in the Arizona secondary when healthy, but has yet to put together a full 16-game season heading into his fifth NFL season. His ability to stay healthy in 2017 will be key for a Cardinals defense that lost five starters in free agency this offseason.
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