Cardinals' Tyrann Mathieu running at '60, 70 percent'


Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu hopes to do more than watch from the sideline when training camp kicks off later this month.

Seven months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL, the second-year safety said he's back in the weight room and running at "60, 70 percent" during rehab sessions.

A video diary on the team's official website showed Mathieu cutting and back-pedaling, leading Cardinals assistant athletic trainer Chad Cook to say that the playmaking defender is "real close to getting back to football."

Coach Bruce Arians said last month that he didn't expect Mathieu back on the field until the team's Week 5 matchup against the Broncos, but the safety is hoping to put on a helmet and shoulder pads for individual drills at training camp. Honey Badger acknowledged that his elongated and lonely rehab has been frustrating.

"It's like when you are in elementary school and you wait all day for recess," Mathieu said. "But you had been bad that morning and then teacher says you can't play with the rest of the kids."

With Daryl Washington suspended for at least a year, fellow inside linebacker Karlos Dansby no longer on the roster and Mathieu out of the mix, the Cardinals are hurting for difference-makers.

Arizona will use a mixture of Rashad Johnson, Tony Jefferson and rookie Deone Bucannon in Mathieu's absence, but no combination of talent can equal what we saw from last year's fascinating Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" debates Jay Cutler's ceiling and looks back at the NFL in the '90s.