ARIZONA CARDINALS

Dennis Gardeck’s grind from torn ACL highlighted in ‘Cardinals Flight Plan’

Jul 2, 2021, 4:54 PM | Updated: 11:23 pm

On the latest episode of “Cardinals Flight Plan,” linebacker Dennis Gardeck delved into his process recovering from a torn ACL suffered near the end of last season.

In the first half of the video, Gardeck is seen working out and focusing on one-on-one drills with the Cardinals coaching staff.

Gardeck tore his ACL in Week 14 against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020 and is looking to make a full return for the Cardinals this upcoming season.

“The only timeline I have is that we’re moving forward, progressing everyday, which we have so far,” Gardeck said. “This is my second time doing it. I tore my ACL in 2013 so the mental challenges are I know that I can trust it, I know that it’s healing and it’s good. Been way easier the second time.”

In 14 games for the Cardinals, Gardeck recorded 16 combined tackles, seven sacks and forced one fumble in 2020.

Despite tearing his ACL for the second time in his career, the Arizona linebacker is keeping a positive attitude.

“I know did everything I could, injuries just kind of happen,” Gardeck on his ACL tear. “I think it’s just the opportunity to prove how bad I want it. The things we’re doing aren’t very complicated. It’s not really hard, but just finding the motivation to do it day after day after day and have the opportunity to see how bad I want it.”

Later on in the episode, general manager Steve Keim talked about the new crop of players on roster for Arizona, including defensive end J.J. Watt, cornerback Malcom Butler, wide receiver A.J. Green, center Rodney Hudson and kicker Matt Prater.

Keim said the newcomers are guys he doesn’t have to worry about when they are away from the building as they have been dialed in and focused during virtual meetings.

The Cardinals GM also is loving what he is seeing from Watt, who has been taking time to develop relationships with his new teammates.

“That’s exactly what we were looking for when we acquired [Watt],” Keim said. “To see him talk to the young guys. To see the extra running after practice and the fact that our guys are holding each other accountable, which is so important.”

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