TEMPE, Ariz. — He would like to move on, but moving at the moment is proving to be a bit of chore for Calais Campbell.
The Arizona Cardinals defensive end, and team captain, is sporting a large brace on his right knee; the result of getting hit by tight end Julius Thomas in the third quarter of Sunday’s game at Denver.
“It’s feeling okay,” Campbell said inside the locker room prior to practice on Wednesday. “(The knee) is getting better each day. It’s something that it’s probably going to nag all year. Just going through the protocol, listening to the training staff — we’ve got a good training staff — and making sure I do everything they tell me to do, so that I get back as soon as possible.”
According to reports, the NFL fined Thomas $8,268 for the illegal chop block.
Head coach Bruce Arians had no reaction when asked.
“I’m tired of all that,” he said.
Campbell, meanwhile, took the high ground.
“It was a max fine for an illegal block for a first time offender. It makes sense,” he said. “I’m glad the NFL did something, and hopefully he won’t do it no more.”
Fine, but did Campbell, who suffered a strained MCL on the play, hope the league might’ve done more, like perhaps suspend Thomas?
“I understand the NFL has rules and guidelines, and they followed them. That’s good enough for me,” he said.
What seemed to bother Campbell more is that he had still not heard from Thomas. No text. No call. No apology for hurting one of the better defensive players in the game.
“One of my teammates said he talked to him after the game and said that he wanted to send me a message, but he could get my number if he wanted to. It’s all good,” he said. “I want to move past it. It’s over and done with.”
Easier said than done, especially since Campbell is unable to practice and Thomas, after catching six passes for 66 yards and two touchdwons, is preparing to play the New York Jets.
“Never before have I ever been blocked like that before,” said Campbell, adding the play could have been avoided. “It’s one of those things that just sucks. I don’t think it was a great football play, but it’s over and done with. I’d like to move past it and just get back to playing good football again.”
And that is the big question.
When might the seven-year veteran play again? This week against Washington, maybe?
“Oh man, I don’t know. It’s so early,” he said. “They tell me one-to-three weeks, so the first thing is just getting (the knee) back healthy and seeing where we go from there.”
Through four games, Campbell is leading the Cardinals in tackles for loss with five and is fifth in total tackles with 16 plus one sack and one interception, which he recorded Sunday.
“The beauty of it is I shouldn’t be out that long,” he said. “It could’ve been a lot worse. I got good news. I could be back real soon. I think I can still get back on track. I still feel pretty explosive and feel good; just got to get my MCL feeling good and I’ll be fine.”