There’s good news and bad news for Tyrann Mathieu.
The good news is Mathieu, seven months removed from surgery to fix a torn ACL and LCL, seems well on track in his recovery. He’s back in the weight room and running at “60, 70 percent,” in his own estimation.
The bad news is the Cardinals safety wasn’t able to join his teammates during any on-field drills this offseason. Being forced to watch from the sidelines during OTAs and minicamp deeply frustrated an analogical Honey Badger.
“It’s like when you are in elementary school and you wait all day for recess,” Mathieu told the Cardinals’ official website. “But you had been bad that morning and then teacher says you can’t play with the rest of the kids.”
Mathieu is “holding out hope” to at least be cleared for individual drills when training camp begins later this month. Chad Cook, the team’s assistant athletic trainer, echoed similar sentiments, saying Mathieu is “real close to getting back to football.”
The sooner, the better for the Cardinals’ defense, which lost playmaking linebacker Daryl Washington to a year-long suspension and will be forced to depend upon raw rookie safety Deone Bucannon.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said last month that Mathieu’s target return date is Oct. 1. Barring an Adrian Peterson-like turnaround, that’s the timeline worth sticking to.