GLENDALE, Ariz. — It appears John Abraham’s absence from Arizona Cardinals training camp may be coming to an end.
The linebacker, whose absence was at first deemed to be for personal reasons and then later learned to be related to a June DUI arrest in Georgia, has yet to make his return to the Valley.
But according to general manager Steve Keim, he’s expected shortly.
“Not right now, but I would expect him in the very near future,” the GM said after practice Wednesday when asked if there was anything he could share on the situation.
Does that mean next week?
“Sooner than next week.”
The Cardinals have one more practice scheduled at University of Phoenix Stadium Thursday before heading to Minnesota for their second preseason game, which will take place Saturday against the Vikings. Given that, it will be known soon enough if Keim’s statement means Abraham will be suiting up for the game.
When Abraham does return, the Cardinals will be adding the NFL’s active sack leader, as the linebacker has 133.5 to his name in 14 in the league. Last season, his first with the Cardinals, the veteran tallied a team-best 11.5 sacks, and earned his fifth career Pro Bowl nod.
Now 36, the moment Abraham reports the questions will turn to how much the team can expect from him, especially after missing so much time.
“He’s got to work himself into playing shape,” Keim said, noting that the team will handle Abraham coming back much in the same way it would a player returning from injury.
“A guy coming off 11.5 sacks at 35 years old, you’d like to think that he’s going to still be able to contribute, he’s just got to be able to get his legs back underneath him.”
But even more than that, it is important for Abraham to get his personal life sorted out.
“It’s always a concern when there’s off-field issues to deal with,” Keim said, “but at the same time I think that it’s given him an opportunity to step back and look at the situation and realize that if he wants to continue playing football, he’s got to get his life in order.”