The Cardinals officially ended rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu’s season on Tuesday, placing the Honey Badger on injured reserve after he tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee in last weekend’s victory over the Rams.
Injuring both ligaments at once can make for a more involved and more difficult rehab process, one that Mathieu said he is sure will “take its toll” on him over the next few months. Mathieu does not believe that part of that toll will be a recurrence of the off-field issues with marijuana that led to Mathieu’s departure from LSU and tumble into the third round of the draft.
“I take the things I have been through and you learn from those,” Mathieu said, via the team’s website. “As far as the off-field issues, I feel like I have those kind of things in the bag. I’m still continuing that process. This injury, in addition to what I have been through off the field, hopefully those things can come together and make me stronger and more of a leader. I’m not really interested in the negatives or if people have anything negative to say. That’s not really my mindset. Everything is going to be positive.”
Mathieu ends his first NFL season with 68 tackles, two interceptions, a sack and a forced fumble, numbers that should have him in the mix for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors even if the missed games cost him a chance to win it. It’s a blow to the Cardinals as they try to rally back into playoff position. Rashad Johnson will move into Mathieu’s starting spot and the team promoted safety Curtis Taylor from the practice squad to fill the open roster spot.