Arizona Cardinals eyeing return for Mathieu, Ta'amu around the bye week

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Despite optimism not too long ago, realism is setting in.

The Arizona Cardinals have a pair of key defensive players rehabbing from late season knee injuries and have been working hard to get back on the field -- defensive back Tyrann Mathieu and nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu.

While there has been optimism, especially with Mathieu, that he might be on the field playing in Week 1 when the Cardinals kick off their season on Monday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers, things appear to have tempered a bit.

At the end of mini-camp, head coach Bruce Arians told reporters (via AZCardinals.com) that he has no hurry for them.

"That's strictly up to the doctors, trainers and them," coach Bruce Arians said. "I'm not going to hurry them. We have plenty of time. If they aren't ready for the first day of training camp - which I doubt anyway, because I've never thought that. I had Oct. 1, or after the (bye week) as the target date for me personally. If they do something better than that, God bless ‘em."

Both players want to return before then and Arians even thinks that they could be back in practice, at least on a limited basis, after about a week of training camp.

There have been two themes among Cardinals fans -- let's get them back as soon as possible because they improve the defense. There is also the slower approach to make sure they are healthy.

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