For the first time this season, it appears that second year outside linebacker Alex Okafor will be healthy. He was lost for the season last year after playing five snaps against the New Orleans Saints.
In the offseason, he was praised by head coach Bruce Arians for his ability to get to the quarterback. Then, during training camp, Arians spoke of his need to develop secondary pass rush moves and to play with a higher motor.
He got hurt right at the end of training camp, suffering a thigh injury and finally has been able to practice. With John Abraham on injured reserve, the team has been searching for pass rush help off the edge. They have used Sam Acho, Thomas Keiser and Kareem Martin without a sack from their outside linebackers.
Okafor should help, right?
While he is healthy finally, if we are to believe what Mike Jurecki tweeted Thursday after speaking with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, his impact might not come yet.
#Cardinals DC Todd Bowles gave the impression he needs to see more from OLB Alex Okafor in practice. #AZvsDEN— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) October 2, 2014
If this is fact the case, we should expect to see a lot of Kareem Martin again, who got significant playing time as a nickel and dime rusher off the edge.
Okafor might see a few snaps, but I wouldn't expect to see him getting significant time yet.