Reports on Thursday morning that linebacker John Abraham was ready to report to Cardinals training camp proved correct when the veteran showed up and took his physical later in the day.
Abraham took his physical and did some work with the strength and conditioning staff, but he won’t play in this week’s preseason contest or practice in pads until next week. That will eat up a few more of the remaining days until the start of the regular season, although coach Bruce Arians isn’t going to let that or his extended absence from camp knock Abraham out of the starting lineup.
“We’ll see what kind of condition he is [in] and get him physically ready,” Arians said, via the Arizona Republic. “Yeah, he’s going to be our starting ‘Will’ linebacker. There’s no doubt about that. He’s never been out of those plans.”
Neither the team nor Abraham has specified the reason for his absence, although Abraham was arrested for DUI in late June and referenced taking time to deal with personal issues in a statement apologizing for the arrest earlier this month. Safety Tyrann Mathieu, who has had his own off-field troubles, said that Abraham’s teammates will welcome him back with open arms.
“I think the team is going to rally behind him similar to when they drafted me last year,” Mathieu said, via the team’s website. “They will be encouraging. He’s already a great teammate. It’s not hard to like him.”
If it remains hard to block Abraham on passing downs, his absence will be a distant memory for a Cardinals team that already has to replace linebackers Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby while also potentially holding down the fort without Mathieu early in the season.