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Arizona Cardinals guard Justin Pugh has MCL tear, likely headed to IR

Arizona Cardinals offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) sets to block against the Minnesota Vikings during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 27-17. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

Arizona Cardinals guard Justin Pugh has a torn MCL in his left knee and will likely move to the injured reserve, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

Pugh left Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs with a left knee injury in the third quarter. The 28-year-old had missed two games earlier in the season due to a hand injury.

In mid-March, Pugh signed a five-year deal worth just over $45 million with the Cardinals, giving the Cardinals some much-needed help on the offensive line.

That offensive line, though, has been unable to stay healthy this season. The unit was already without starting center A.Q. Shipley, who tore his ACL in early August. The starting five of D.J. Humphries, Mike Iupati, Mason Cole, Pugh and Andre Smith has not played a game together since the Cardinals’ Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Pugh left the New York Giants with the label of being an injury prone player. After playing all 16 games his rookie year, he missed 17 games over his last four seasons in New York.

The offensive lineman rejected the notion of the label in the offseason.

“Some people didn’t even know what happened with me,” Pugh said in May. “They thought I got surgery on my back. That’s people not doing their diligence.”

If Pugh were to miss the rest of the season, he will have now played in only 26 of a possible 48 games the past three seasons.

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