Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson tweets he’s clocking in Monday
Patrick Peterson’s six-game PED suspension lifted at midnight after the Arizona Cardinals’ win over the Atlanta Falcons, and the eight-time Pro Bowler made sure that his excitement to return was clear.
“GOING TO WORK!!!!” he tweeted in all caps on Monday, just before sunrise.
The corner had posted to his Instagram account late Sunday night a teaser about his return.
The return of Peterson gives the Arizona secondary a dramatic boost after it also lost projected starter Robert Alford to a leg injury before the season began. Young players have been pushed more and more into key roles without the two top corners.
Second-round pick and rookie Byron Murphy has played well in his role as the top cornerback. Veteran Tramaine Brock has started opposite Murphy and, most recently, third-year pro Kevin Peterson has earned time in nickel packages.
Alongside safety Budda Baker, the Cardinals have turned to rookies Deionte Thompson and Jalen Thompson after releasing veteran D.J. Swearinger two weeks ago.
As for Patrick Peterson, his return marks what the team hopes is an end to a rocky patch between the cornerback and the Cardinals organization.
Midway through last year, Peterson requested a trade and then rescinded that demand after meeting with team brass, including president Michael Bidwill.
Peterson then did not participate in the team’s late-April voluntary mini-camp. John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station reported that Peterson was was upset the team could not rework his contract knowing he was facing a performance-enhancing drug suspension, according to multiple sources.
Peterson appealed the NFL’s decision to suspend him and decided to drop it, but he lost approximately $3,882,352 in wages, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The cornerback eventually joined his teammates and went through all of training camp with them, playing in the preseason before the team scaled back his role to prepare the Cardinals that would be counted upon for the first six games.
Without Peterson, Arizona’s defense has allowed the second-highest opponent quarterback rating in the NFL (121.8), the most touchdown passes (16) and the fewest interceptions (zero) in the NFL.
But the Cardinals also sit at 2-3-1 with two wins in a row just as they get arguably their best player back on the field.
His teammates, like Budda Baker, certainly are glad to have him back.