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MRI reveals torn right ACL for Arizona Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley

An injured Arizona Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley (53) is checked by head athletic trainer Tom Reed, right, as Shipley walks off the field during an NFL football practice Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals will be without their primary center in 2018.

The team announced Monday that A.Q. Shipley suffered a torn ACL in his right knee.

“The MRI confirms that it is an ACL. Very unfortunate situation for him and the team,” first-year Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said. “As I mentioned a couple days ago, a tremendous leader, hard worker.

“When you talk about the DNA that I look for, a guy that loves the game, very passionate, gritty, really was a leader up front. It’s going to be an opportunity for other guys to be able to step up at this time.

Shipley suffered the injury Saturday during red zone drills. He was seen limping off the field was examined inside a tent before being carted off the field.

“It was contact,” Wilks said of the incident. “We ran it back about 12, 15 times and really couldn’t see anything malicious or anybody that fell into his leg. I think it really just got caught up in the turf and he was engaged and he said he heard it pop.”

The center has been the main constant for an Arizona team that has been littered with injuries over the last few seasons.

“I love A.Q., I talked about it last week. He has our kind of DNA, the guy works hard, he’s real gritty. Just a true competitor,” Wilks told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station following the team’s press conference.

Out of the linemen, only Shipley managed to make it a full 16 games in 2017. He has only missed two snaps in his last two seasons.

The Cardinals will now look to Cole, who with his high school team and the Michigan Wolverines, made a total of 104 consecutive starts.

“[Shipley’s injury is] very disappointing, but in the same it’s an opportunity for Mason Cole to step up and see exactly what he can do,” Wilks said of the rookie. “There’s a reason why we drafted him. This guy started as a freshman at Michigan, which is hard to do, and you talk about never missing a practice.”

The rookie center was selected by the Cardinals in the third round with the 97th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

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