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Cardinals covered at safety until Tyrann Mathieu returns

Rashad Johnson

Arizona Cardinals strong safety Rashad Johnson (49) against the San Diego Chargers during a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)


The Cardinals are still crossing their fingers than Tyrann Mathieu’s recovery from knee surgery allows him to be ready for the season.

But until that happens, they’re fortunate to have the guy with nine fingers ready to go.

According to Darren Urban of the team’s official website, veteran safety Rashad Johnson figures to be ready to start training camp with the first team until Mathieu gets well.

Johnson’s a solid player (and committed to the cause, as evidenced by giving up a finger for the team last year). Paired with first-round pick Deone Bucannon at strong safety, it’s a perfectly acceptable pair.

That gives them the ability to give Mathieu plenty of time to recover. Assuming he does, getting him on the field with Bucannon gives them a potentially explosive pair of young safeties at the back of a dangerous defense.