Cardinals cornerback Robert Alford fractured his tibia in training camp. He missed the entire 2019 season, his first in Arizona.
Alford said Wednesday he is fully healed and has medical clearance for all football activities.
Until the players are allowed to return to the team facility, Alford is lifting weights at his home in Atlanta, getting on-field work at a nearby field and attending virtual team meetings.
“At the end of the day, it’s on you to take advantage of this time,” Alford said, via Darren Urban of the team website.
The Cardinals signed Alford to a three-year deal last offseason with plans for him to start opposite Patrick Peterson. Peterson was suspended for six games for performance enhancing drugs and Alford was injured, leaving Arizona short-handed at the position.
Alford stayed involved after his injury last season, preparing as if he was playing and even attending practice. A year later, Alford said the playbook is “second nature to me now.”
“I didn’t want the injury to make me feel like I wasn’t part of the team,” Alford said.
Alford, 31, made 76 starts in his six seasons with the Falcons. He missed only eight games in his career before last season.
Thus, missing an entire season has given Alford added motivation for 2020.
“I always use stuff like that,” Alford said. “I hear a lot of chatter, but at the end of the day, I’m self-motivated. All I do is take advantage of each and every day. . . . I’m very confident in what I’m bringing to the team.
“I always play with a chip on my shoulder and that will never leave me.”