Arizona Cardinals hamstrung by hamstring injuries early in training camp
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Only two days into training camp and the Arizona Cardinals have already had three players leave practice early because of hamstring trouble.
A fourth, running back Andre Ellington, received limited reps Sunday when his hamstring “tightened up,” according to head coach Bruce Arians.
And a fifth, tight end Troy Niklas, hurt his hamstring a week before camp, which landed him on the non-football injury list. He has since been activated.
“It’s about taking care of yourself, that’s all it is,” receiver Michael Floyd said. “As much as we run, (your hamstrings) are bound to hurt, but it matters what you do before and after practice and how you take care of your body and basically what you put into it.”
Linebackers Sean Weatherspoon and Shaq Riddick both found themselves walking off the field and into the trainer’s room Saturday, while running back David Johnson exited Sunday, pulling up with a noticeable limp after a long run to the outside an hour into practice.
“We’ve sent him for a MRI,” Arians said of Johnson. “(We) feel like it’s day-to-day.”
Weatherspoon is day-to-day, as well. He missed his second straight practice Monday, the first day in pads.
The news is worse for Riddick, the team’s fifth-round draft pick.
“He re-injured the same tear he had before, so his is a Grade-2,” Arians said. “He’s going to miss some time.”
Riddick missed nearly all of the offseason—OTAs and mini-camp—with a hamstring injury.
“I can’t evaluate you if you ain’t practicing,” Arians said.
Niklas said he hopes to practice “full-on” later in the week. Until then, he and fellow tight end Jermaine Gresham, who was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Monday, will be brought along slowly.
“They will strictly be walk-through until they’re football-ready,” Arians said. “But by getting them off the list, they can actually take their mental reps and physical reps in the walk-through practices, so they got 20-30 reps this morning that they couldn’t have on those lists. Now, we’ll be very, very cautious as far as putting them in pads and practicing them. They’ll have to go through at least another week of training and maybe some individual (work).”
Niklas explained he hurt his hamstring while working out on his own.
“I was just running routes. I was doing a lot of running,” he said. “I probably should’ve rested my legs a little bit more. I was just out there. I cut and I felt it. I thought like I just cramped up but it just kind of stuck with me, so I called the trainers. They said it was a little strain, so we’re good.
“I just wanted to be in really good shape coming in and I just pushed too hard.”