Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim: Tyrann Mathieu could return at start of season

May 19, 2014, 4:54 PM | Updated: 4:54 pm
Follow @Vincemarotta...

Fans at University of Phoenix Stadium cringed last December 8 when rookie Tyrann Mathieu’s knee buckled underneath him before he reached the sideline after a free kick return.

Their fears were confirmed when tests showed Mathieu had torn the ACL and LCL in his left knee — an injury that normally requires a rehabilitation program of one calendar year. That schedule would mean that Mathieu would miss most, if not all of his second season in the league.

But that might not be the case, according to general manager Steve Keim.

“We think there’s a chance he’ll be back by the beginning of the season,” Keim told Adam Schein on SiriusXM Radio Friday. “I told him, when the doctors initially put a timeline on a player’s injury, he’s the one guy that is so much different than anyone else because of his passion and his toughness.

“I told him, I said ‘Ty, don’t listen to anybody. Nobody can tell you and pinpoint the exact return date — that’s up to you.’ And he’s a machine. He’s the kind of guy that I really think could come back a lot earlier than people anticipated.”

Keim didn’t only gush about Mathieu’s work ethic and diligence in his rehab, but about him in general.

“He’s fantastic,” Keim said. “He’s constantly texting me, whether it’s about other draftable players that he liked — he’s just a student of the game. He was a guy that we obviously took a chance on, a calculated risk. And he showed up big for us on the field, but really made a bigger difference off the field.

“He has grown up tremendously. He’s a gym rat, he’s in here all the time, I mean we have to kick him out of the building and tell him ‘Tyrann, go home for a little bit.’ He’s always in the training room, doing his rehab, he’s in the weight room. He’s walking around our hallways talking to the coaches. He has been really a joy so far and we’re excited about his progress.”

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) walks out before an NFL game between the Arizo...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Doug Kyed advises Arizona Cardinals to bring back DL Corey Peters

With the Cardinals' current roster construction, PFF's Doug Kyed believes Arizona should bring DL Corey Peters back once more in 2022.
2 days ago
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) protects his quarterback during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals take OT Paris Johnson Jr. in ESPN 2023 NFL mock draft

ESPN's Matt Miller thinks the Cardinals will beef up the offensive line in his first 2023 mock by selecting Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, and Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrate after an NFL foo...
Wills Rice

NFL.com’s Patra ranks Cardinals’ cornerbacks among weakest rooms in league

The Cardinals enter training camp with a few question marks personnel-wise on the defensive side of the ball, especially at cornerback.
5 days ago
Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals after a recep...
Sam Graveline

PFF: Tight end shaping up to be biggest position battle for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals head into training camp expecting to have healthy competition at a handful of positions, including at tight end.
6 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after beating the Houston Texans 31-5...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: The timeframe of Kyler Murray’s contract extension

We haven't heard much lately when it comes down to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and a contract extension. When will a new deal get done?
6 days ago
Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a defensive play during the first half against...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals LB Markus Golden among players with best team-friendly deals

Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden's contract cracked PFF analyst Brad Spielberger's top team-friendly deals ranking.
6 days ago
Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim: Tyrann Mathieu could return at start of season