GLENDALE — Despite being cleared by doctors Thursday, Arizona Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson will not play against Carolina Sunday. He’s been ruled inactive.
Two weeks ago at New Orleans, Johnson had the top of his left middle finger severed and has not suited up since.
He practiced on a limited basis Friday, and head coach Bruce Arians sounded optimistic afterward that Johnson would be able to suit up against the Panthers.
“It’s just a matter how much he can function with the cast on,” Arians said.
With Johnson sidelined, rookie Tyrann Mathieu will make his second straight start.
The Cardinals do welcome back two other starters, however.
Linebacker Daryl Washington returns having completed his league-imposed four-game suspension, and nose tackle Dan Williams will play his first game since he received the news his father had died just prior to the team traveling to New Orleans.
The defense also welcomes back rookie linebacker Kevin Minter, who had missed the past two weeks because of a hamstring injury. His return is key because fellow linebacker Jasper Brinkley will not play; he’s out with a groin injury.
Left guard Daryn Colledge is dressed. He had been questionable because of a shin injury, but he’ll play his 117th consecutive game, the second-longest streak in the NFL among offensive lineman.
Colledge will line up next to Bradley Sowell, the team’s new left tackle after the trade of Levi Brown to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Other inactives: Quarterback Ryan Lindley, wide receiver Kerry Taylor, running back Ryan Williams, tackle Bobby Massie and tight end D.C. Jefferson.