When the Cardinals drafted Adrian Wilson in the third round of the 2001 draft, they knew they were getting a talented young safety from North Carolina St. However, they didn't expect to get a player that would grow to be one of the toughest players in the NFL. Adrian Wilson has become one of the best safeties in the NFL and one of the hardest hitters we have seen in years, especially in Arizona. Who remembers the hit Wilson landed on Trent Edwards just a few seasons ago? If not, I provided the video after the jump.
If you watch this video a few times you will see that it's a clean hit. Wilson squared his shoulders, wrapped him up perfectly, and took Edwards to the ground. I don't even think Wilson's helmet made contact, if it did, it wasn't much. There was only one bad outcome of this hit; Trent Edwards hasn't been the same quarterback since. Some say it was due to the hit he received and others will deny it. I'm not saying Edwards was a star by any means, but at the time of this injury he was looking like a promising young quarterback. Hey, that's football though right?
Fast forward a few season's and Adrian Wilson is attempting something that many players couldn't think of. "A Dub" is attempting to play this season with a torn right biceps tendon. He has elected to rehabilitate the injury without surgery, which would sideline him until training camp next year. I know this isn't news to anybody who is an avid Cardinals fan, but it's Wilson's toughness that I'm trying to point out. Due to the pain and the nature of this injury, it has taken down many good football players over the years, causing them to miss an entire season. This is just a test to Wilson's toughness that can't be measured by words, and only by his play on the field.
A good sign if there is one, is the Cardinals didn't pick up any safeties through free agency or waivers. They even cut free agent safety Matt Ware, which shows confidence in Wilson's recovery. Barring any major set backs, it appears Wilson may be starting this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. The amount of playing time Wilson will receive is unknown at this point, although, we should know more by the end of the week.
Adrian Wilson is a model of what a professional football player should be. In a time where the NFL is laying down huge fines for questionable hits, Wilson has never let up and continues to play the style of play he is known for. Wilson is no doubt laying everything on the line for his team, in hopes to help them regain the NFC West title.
Wilson must see something very special about this defense, especially if he's willing to play with such a serious injury.
Let's just hope Cam Newton realizes how special number 24 is, and the havoc he can reek on opposing quarterbacks. Just ask Trent Edwards.....He definitely knows.