The Cardinals drafted linebacker Haason Reddick in the first round last month and they may need to call on him early in his rookie season to step in for Deone Bucannon.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said on Tuesday that Bucannon had surgery to repair a “lingering” ankle injury. Bucannon ended last season on injured reserve due to an ankle issue. He added that the team hopes to have him back for the start of the regular season if all goes well in his recovery.
It will take some time before the Cardinals can know if all, most or anything is going well on that front and the timeline Arians laid down suggests Bucannon will be limited at best for most of training camp. That should leave Reddick with plenty of time with the first-team defense and ample opportunities to make his case for playing time whether or not Bucannon is healthy.
The Cardinals exercised their option on Bucannon’s contract for the 2018 season, which is guaranteed against injury only. Karlos Dansby is in line to start at their other inside linebacker spot.