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Should The Arizona Cardinals Replace Adrian Wilson Through Free Agency?

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A couple of days ago, Adrian Wilson, the team's starting strong safety and defensive leader had to leave the annual Red and White practice due to an injury. Although it was undisclosed at the time, we have now learned that it was a tear in his bicep muscle and it could cause him to miss significant time.

Cardinals reporter, Paul Calvisi reported that Wilson could possibly take the route of rehabbing the wound throughout the year and continue playing through the injury. Also noted was the fact that it may only be a partial tear of the muscle and knowing A-Dub, he will likely choose to play through the pain.

If Wilson is forced to miss a good chunk of time or even the full season, the team may look to see what is left on the free agency market.

First of all, here is a comment from our resident physical therapist, b0rd3rline, about if Wilson should be playing with any sort of injury of this magnitude:

Could someone do that? Probably.

Would it be smart? Probably not. A "pull" or "strain/sprain" of the muscle is actually a partial tear of the muscle tendon, which causes weakness and of course pain. If you put a partially torn tendon through high level activity, you put it at risk for completing the tear.

The absolutely best course of action for this injury is to rest and ice it, while progressing a strengthening program to catch the muscle strength back up with the level of activity he needs to perform. The biggest thing to keep in mind, is regardless of what treatment you give him, the body still needs to heal itself, and that ALWAYS takes time. No need to rush it and make a almost harmless injury into a big time chronic injury..

The Cardinals may opt to have Wilson sit out this year and hope that he can have a full healthy season in 2012. So who could Arizona pick up if that becomes the case at hand?

Pro Football Focus released this list of players that are still available in free agency. As you can see towards the bottom of the page, the secondary players are getting thin. Kelvin Hayden will likely be signing with either the Raiders or the Bears, plus he is more of a corner than a safety, so he wouldn't work.

Renaldo Hill would not be anywhere near the type of player Wilson is, as he plays deep, while A-Dub loves to play near the line of scrimmage. Atari Bigby could be an option, but he was injured during a large portion of time last year and may no longer be as effective as he once was entering his sixth season in the NFL.

One player that PFF failed to mention was former 49ers safety DaShon Goldson. If the Cardinals do decide to sign someone other than Matt Ware as Wilson insurance, Goldson would probably be the best option. He doesn't hit quite as hard as Wilson, but as you can see in the video below, he may be the closest safety to him.

If the Cardinals decide to stay in house and promote a player to Wilson's spot, it would likely be Rashad Johnson. So far, Johnson has not done much to impress during camp (or his entire career for that matter), but he would likely be the best option already on the roster. Putting Patrick Peterson at the safety position would be a bit premature and would only thin out the depth at the cornerback position.

If Adrian Wilson is going to miss a large part of the season, I think the Cardinals should sign a free agent. Based upon how long Goldson has been on the market, I am sure Arizona could sign him to a relatively cheap one-year deal. If Wilson is able to return this season, Goldson could then provide solid depth at the safety position.

So what do you think Cardinals fans? Should the Red Birds spend some more money on a free agent or keep the money they have to re-sign Larry Fitzgerald and simply promote a guy already on the team?

Whatever path they choose, let's just hope Adrian can recover as soon as possible. The fans love him and he loves this team just as much as we do.

Cardinal Fans just be patient and believe in the impossible.. #teamwilson I will never give up on this TEAM ever!!!less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Note: Michael Adams will also be getting arthroscopic surgery on his knee. It is not a serious injury (Beanie Wells and Steve Breaston had it done last year), so the team will probably replace him internally for the little time that he is absent.