During the annual Red and White practice that takes place in Flagstaff as part of training camp for the Arizona Cardinals, safety Adrian Wilson suffered an injury in the first series that has fans concerned about his status for the 2011 season.
There is definitely some buzz about how the injury is serious.
Pete Prisco from CBSSports tweeted that he tore his biceps. Kent Somers from the Arizona Republic also tweeted that the fear was that it was torn.
No official word has come out, but teammate Jay Feely used the phrase "serious injury" and even Wilson himself makes the plea for fans to "believe in the impossible."
To me, that indicates that it is going to take a miracle for him to play at all this year.
It also makes me wonder something. The other day, he refused to talk about last year's injury or about injuries in general. I don't know of anything for sure, but I got the impression that his hip was still bothering him. Now it makes me suspect that perhaps his arm/elbow was already an issue and that he made it worse today in practice.
So what happens if he is out the whole season?
There will obviously be a void left by a Pro Bowler, despite his shortcomings. At safety currently there is Kerry Rhodes, who starts, and then Rashad Johnson, Hamza Abdullah, Matt Ware (just re-signed) and a group of undrafted rookies.
Johnson would likely move into the starting role. How he will do is unknown. Wilson has raved about how he has worked out. He is bulked up a bit, but he has yet to be the playmaker he was expected to be after being drafted out of Alabama. However, you can say he made progress last year because over time last season he overtook Matt Ware as the "nickel" safety brought in for help. (Remember that the Cards did not play a true nickel -- they would go from four to six DBs).
Abdullah has played mostly on special teams. Ware is a decent player. He has typical safety size and is pretty decent in coverage, but is nowhere near the playmaker Wilson is. In fact, Ware's absence in the playoff game against the Saints was said to be a big hole because of the way he is able to plays in space.
There is also the external solution. Taylor Mays is available from San Francisco. Dashon Goldson is still a free agent. There are also others.
The other discussion that has taken place among fans is Patrick Peterson. Some feel he will eventually be a safety. He, though, unequivocally has said he is a cornerback.
My guess what happens is that the team rolls with Johnson and stick with Abdullah and Ware in the reserve roles.
Obviously we still have to wait for the actual results, but it just does seem serious.
What do you think? Should the team use what and who is there? Should it look fro help outside? Put your vote in and explain why.