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Cardinals G.M. says Tyrann Mathieu could play in opener

Tyrann Mathieu

Arizona Cardinals’ Tyrann Mathieu speaks to members of the media after morning minicamp NFL football practice on Thursday, June 13, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


All indications have been that Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu had been doing well in rehab for his December knee injury.

And now Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim says that it’s going well enough that playing in the opener is a real possibility.

We think there’s a chance that he’ll be back by the beginning of the season,” Keim said during an interview with Adam Schein on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio, via
The Cardinals open in prime time, with a Monday Night Football appearance against the Chargers, and that would be quite a stage for Mathieu to come back. He was having an excellent rookie season before tearing his ACL and LCL in his left knee in Week 14.

“He has been a gym rat,” Keim said. “He’s in here all the time. We have to kick him out of the building and tell him ‘Tyrann, go home for a little bit.’ He’s always in the training room doing his rehab.

“I told him, ‘Ty, don’t listen to anybody because nobody can tell you and pinpoint the exact return date. That’s up to you.’ And he’s a machine. He’s the kind of guy that I really think can come back a lot earlier than people anticipated.”

Since the Cards initially thought he’d start the year on the physically unable to perform list, the steady progress he’s made is a good sign, so long as he’s well in the fall.