Cardinals DT Robert Nkemdiche heads to IR, needs knee surgery
The Arizona Cardinals have another season-ending injury as defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche will go to injured reserve and undergo knee surgery.
“I’m not going to get into the details, he just hurt his knee and we’re going to have to place him on IR,” head coach Steve Wilks said Monday, later confirming that surgery is necessary.
Nkemdiche played just 22 snaps on defense (36.7 percent) on Sunday in the Cardinals’ loss to the Detroit Lions.
The 2016 first-round pick had his most productive season as a pro so far in 2018, playing in 10 games (six starts) with 4.5 sacks, 32 tackles, a pass defended and forced fumble.
“Last couple of a weeks, I thought he played well,” Wilks said. “He had that lull when he was hurt, he was out for a while. I thought he came back and had a great game against the Chargers. Again, just inconsistent because he hasn’t been on the field.”
Before this season, Nkemdiche hadn’t started a game in his now-three-year career and registered 12 tackles, no sacks, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and a pass defensed in two seasons with 17 games played total.
Other options at DT for the Cardinals include Corey Peters and Rodney Gunter. Olsen Pierre is already on injured reserve. Arizona’s practice squad includes defensive tackle Pasoni Tasini.
Nkemdiche was selected 29th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Ole Miss.