ESPN: Tyrann Mathieu has most to prove for the Cardinals

May 30, 2017, 12:10 PM

DB Tyrann Mathieu goes through a drill during an OTA practice May 16. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona ...

DB Tyrann Mathieu goes through a drill during an OTA practice May 16. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

(Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

After missing the 2015 postseason with an ACL tear and missing six games last season with a shoulder injury, Cardinals’ DB Tyrann Mathieu has not been able to stay on the field in his young NFL career.

This is why Josh Weinfuss of ESPN puts Mathieu as the Cardinal with the most to prove in 2017.

There’s no questioning Mathieu’s ability; it’s his health that’s a concern. If Mathieu stays healthy, he’s one of the top defenders in the NFL. But lately that has been a big if. He has finished three of his four seasons on injured reserve, including twice because of major knee injuries. He needs to stay healthy in 2017 to prove that he isn’t injury-prone — and to reward the Cardinals for investing big dollars in his extension.

In his four NFL seasons, Mathieu’s success has been shadowed by his injuries — flashing his potential in spurts before being sidelined — most noticeably in his most successful season, 2015.

In that season, he set career highs in games (14), tackles (80), interceptions (5) and passes defended (17).

His All-Pro 2015 campaign earned him a five-year $62.5 million contract — another reason, as Weinfuss points out, that Mathieu needs to prove himself in 2017.

The Cardinals can’t get out of his contact until 2020, and a bounce back season from Mathieu would be a reward for the Cardinals’ 2016 extension they gave him.

When he’s at his best, the “honey badger” lives up to his nickname, flying around the field and making plays. Mathieu said he is stronger and faster than he’s ever been, which is why he could stay healthy for the entirety of the 2017 season.

“I just have to take really good care of it,” Mathieu told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in March. “But I also have to be conscious and understand how my body works.”

Presented By
Western Governors University


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Nick Bosa, 49ers...

Jesse Morrison

49ers ‘war daddy’ Nick Bosa to challenge Cardinals’ Paris Johnson

Paris Johnson Jr. has a huge task in Week 4 against San Francisco defensive end Nick Bosa but he is excited to face the 49ers' star.

10 hours ago

Wide receiver Marquise Brown #2 of the Arizona Cardinals prepares for the snap during the second ha...

Arizona Sports

Injury report: Cardinals’ Marquise Brown questionable to play vs. 49ers

The Arizona Cardinals enter Week 4 with No. 1 receiver Hollywood Brown injured heading into a game against the San Francisco 49ers.

11 hours ago

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort (Tyler Drake)...

Kevin Zimmerman

Cardinals GM ‘won’t hesitate’ to activate Kyler Murray, downplays USC-ASU scouting

Kyler Murray, Joshua Dobbs and Caleb Williams were all on the mind of Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort this past week.

13 hours ago

Defensive end Chandler Jones #55 of the Las Vegas Raiders talks to fans before a game against the N...

Arizona Sports

Former Cardinals LB Chandler Jones arrested in Las Vegas

Former Arizona Cardinals linebacker and current Las Vegas Raider Chandler Jones was arrested in Las Vegas on Friday.

14 hours ago

Joshua Dobbs #9 of the Arizona Cardinals on the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys  at State ...

Dan Bickley

Have Arizona Cardinals found hidden treasure in QB Josh Dobbs?

The early results from Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Dobbs have been a revelation and is making the new regime look good.

1 day ago

Zaven Collins at practice...

Arizona Sports

Eye patches and blurred vision: Cardinals LB Zaven Collins describes ‘freak’ injury

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins explained how he suffered an injury that caused him to wear an eye patch for a few days.

1 day ago

ESPN: Tyrann Mathieu has most to prove for the Cardinals