'All or Nothing' recap: Mathieu's injury saddens Cards


In Episode Five of All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals, we re-lived the crushing moment Tyrann Mathieu tore his ACL for the second time in three years. The beginning of Episode Six focuses on the aftermath for a team that has become more like family.

"We have a little different bond just because of where he'd came from, where I came from," said coach Bruce Arians, his eyes watery. "I've just gotten real attached to him. It's personal with Ty. We're extremely close, all of us, but I love the kid and it's a very cold part of the business. We love and miss Ty, but we gotta go on."

Stream the Amazon Original Series "All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals" on Prime Video.

On the practice field, Patrick Peterson remarks that "he can't stop thinking about" Tyrann Mathieu's misfortune. Meanwhile, Carson Palmer -- he himself a two-time ACL survivor -- pedals next to the Honey Badger on a stationary bike and offers encouragement on a timetable that should get the safety back on the field by Week 1 of 2016.

Later, Palmer explains just how much Mathieu's play and spirit means to the Cardinals. Like Arians, Palmer is emotional as he talks about the Honey Badger.

"For him to get hurt, up 30 points, on a stupid pass that the other quarterback threw, that meant nothing in the game, just sucks," he says as a trainer works on his troublesome index finger.

"He's not just vital to our defense. He's vital to our entire team," the quarterback continued. "There's no bigger loss we could have had to suffer. It's another challenge for us to get over that loss and find whoever that is to step up."

But the most devastating assessment of a sad situation comes from Mathieu himself.

"I'm just disappointed because it seemed like I wasn't finished showing the world what I had," he said. "That's the hardest part about it. I wasn't done."

With that, Mathieu stops his work on the stationary bike looks down at the floor. The enormity of his latest personal setback is still seeping in.

Elsewhere ...

» Not sure if anyone ever asked Arians the question, but you wonder why Mathieu was even in the game at the time of his injury. You can't blame anybody when something like this happens, but it did cross my mind. Do the Cardinals win the Super Bowl if they had their best defensive player on the field in the postseason?

» Love this private conversation during practice between Larry Fitzgerald and cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross: "I gotta get this ring this year. And I gotta get one more Pro Bowl, somehow, some way. I gotta get to 10. Only one other guy got to 10, you know that? The great one."

"The great one," of course, is Jerry Rice. I love seeing this side of Fitzgerald, taking pride in his personal accomplishments while being mindful of his place in history. Not a lot of serious-minded fans put stock into Pro Bowl nods, but if Larry Fitz does, that's good enough for me.

» All or Nothing, like Hard Knocks, acts as a great platform for assistant coaches. In fact, if I'm an assistant with head-coaching aspirations I'd be doing somersaults if I found out my team was being documented on either show. Ross stresses in the lead up to the Week 16 matchup against the Packers that his defensive backs must be ready for Aaron Rodgers' masterful back-shoulder throws. Cut to Sunday, as Cardinals defenders pick Rodgers off twice in a blowout win -- a fine example of preparation meeting execution.

» Dwight Freeney seems like a really good dude, not to mention a serious feather in the cap for Cardinals general manager Steve Keim. The pass rusher makes big plays week after week and provides legit veteran leadership behind the scenes. He can even cook, showing off his Jamaican roots with a brown stew chicken that is universally lauded by his line mates.

» One of my favorite scenes of the series comes when Arians arrives home on Black Monday. His job is obviously safe, but Arians -- no stranger to the NFL coaching turk -- feels for less fortunate contemporaries around the league. Arians and wife, Christine, chat in the kitchen about the perils of his business. It feels like a wholly organic conversation that would happen whether a camera was in the room or not. These are genuine people and it shines through.

Here's to three-and-oh," Arians says of the looming playoffs as the couple lift their drinks. "Three-and-oh can change our life forever."

He's not wrong.

Stream the Amazon Original Series "All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals" on Amazon Prime Video now at amazon.com/allornothing.