If Marcus Gilbert is fully recovered from the injuries that have derailed him over the last three seasons, you can expect him to be back in the starting right tackle job for the Arizona Cardinals.
According to Kyle Odegard of the team’s website, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said on Tuesday that he expects that Gilbert will be able to jump back into the role after missing all of last season with a torn ACL.
“We want to see how Marcus looks,” Kingsbury said. “He said he feels the best he’s felt in a long time. Having all these extra months of rehab and not being forced back into anything may be huge for him. He has been a really good player in this league a long time, and if he can start off at that level, then he’s going to slide back in there.”
Gilbert was injured in practice the week of the team’s season opener last September and didn’t play in a single game for the team last season. Arizona had acquired Gilbert in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers last March but he never made it to the opener. In fact, Gilbert has now appeared in just 12 total games combined over the last three seasons because of injuries.
Kelvin Beachum and Justin Murray give the Cardinals fall back options should Gilbert not be able to adequately bounce back from the knee injury. However, if he’s able to achieve something resembling his prior form, he should have a starting job waiting for him.
“We’re excited to have some options, too,” Kingsbury said. “Justin’s development last year, drafting Josh, signing Kelvin – that’s going to be huge. But we expect Marcus to slide right in there and do a nice job right away.”