Handcuffs off, CB Patrick Peterson returns to the field at Arizona Cardinals mini-camp
TEMPE, Ariz. — Inactivity does not suit Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Whether on or off the field, he’s always on the go.
Recently, however, his on-field movement had been halted due to offseason ankle surgery.
That changed Tuesday, when Peterson “did all his individual work” on the first day of Cardinals mini-camp, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
“He looked great,” Arians said.
Peterson was pleased as well.
“It felt great. The ankle wasn’t an issue. It’s not sore or anything right now,” he said, standing at his locker. “It’s always a good thing when you’re able to put the helmet back on, especially when it’s been almost six months since I strapped the helmet up.”
Peterson was expected to miss all of the Cardinals’ offseason work.
His goal, though, was to practice some, even if it was limited to position drills.
Peterson just needed to be on the field.
“So I can be at peace,” he said, flashing a smile. “I knew I can do it, but when you have ankle surgery — being a corner — and my job is based on cutting and explosiveness and things like that, you want to make sure that you’re comfortable. The goal was definitely to get out there and do some individual (work) here in mini-camp, and goal accomplished.”
Peterson underwent surgery April 20, nearly seven weeks ago, to repair a bad right ankle that bothered him last season.
Not once did the ankle become an issue to the point where Peterson didn’t play. In fact, he started every game for the fifth straight season.
Peterson enjoyed one of his better seasons in 2015 with a fifth straight Pro Bowl selection and third career All-Pro honor.
“It was better to nip it in the bud right now versus going into the season and keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t get an ankle sprain,” he said, referring to surgery. “It was definitely better to get it done now versus later.”
Still, in the short-term, Peterson found it difficult to stay patient.
“Very, very difficult,” he said. “The trainers, they definitely did a good job of keeping the handcuffs on me because I definitely was on them each and every day — let’s get out there and do something — because I’m not used to this. I’m always on the field, I’m always running, I’m always practicing. This is probably the first time I missed practice since I’ve been in the NFL, so this is definitely something new to me.”
Peterson, however, understood the importance of being smart with the rehab process.
“These guys want to make sure that I’m healthy for the long haul and healthy when it counts. I don’t want anything to prolong or hold me back,” he said.
Peterson is expected to do more individual work over the final two days of mini-camp.
The Cardinals then break for the summer. They don’t report to training camp until July 28, more than enough time for Peterson to be completely healthy.
“Once training camp comes around, I’ll be 100 percent,” said. “I’ll be ready to roll.”