During the Cardinals vs. Chargers game last Saturday night, Greg Toler left the game in the first half with an injury. It was prematurely diagnosed as a simple sprained knee and Toler was only expected to miss 1-2 weeks.
Now the injury has been discovered to be something much worse. Greg Toler has sustained a season ending injury in the form of a torn ACL. He will immediately be moved to the injured reserve list and become unavailable to the Arizona Cardinals for the rest of the 2011 season.
The injury bug has already plagued our beloved team during the preseason. Ryan Williams went down a couple of weeks ago with a torn patella tendon and he will be out for the season as well. Now with the news of Toler breaking and Adrian Wilson and Michael Adams already being out, the Cardinals suddenly have a huge hole in their secondary.
After trading Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Kevin Kolb trade, the Cardinals figured that with a couple of free agent signings their secondary would still be strong enough to compete. Toler was slated to be one of the starting cornerbacks, so the Cardinals coaching staff now has a decision to make.
A.J. Jefferson has been starting during the entire preseason at cornerback and I suspect that will remain the same during the regular season. There are basically two possibilities for the other spot: Richard Marshall or Patrick Peterson. Marshall has been playing as the nickel corner, but he has a lot more experience than Peterson, so he could get the call. Peterson is a rookie, but his raw talent is immense.
If I had to take a guess, I would say Peterson will become the starter. Obviously this is not the way we wanted to see him accomplish his goal of being a starter from day one, but that's what happens when key cogs are lost to injury. Losing Toler will show on the field, especially early on.
Arizona could look to the waiver wire to fill a hole on the roster, but it more than likely won't be a guy they can bring in that has the same type of talent that Toler did.
We wish Toler a speedy recovery and hope he is back on the field healthy for 2012.