One big question mark for the Arizona Cardinals entering the season is how quickly defensive back Tyrann Mathieu will be able to get back on the field and play, and then how effective he will be once he does return.
The team released another "Tenacious" video documenting Mathieu's recovery, this one dealing with the month of June and his work out in the heat.
In the video he reveals, "I think we've turned that corner. We've progressed a bunch."
The guy he has been working with extensively is assistant athletic trainer Chad Cook. Cook said Mathieu "is real close to getting back to football activities."
Mathieu has been focusing on cutting, changing direction and backpedaling. "The only thing I'm working on now is gaining that full strength and getting that full motion back," he said.
When the team was holding mini-camp, it was rough for Mathieu.
"When you're in elementary school and you wait all day to go to recess and you’ve been bad that morning and the teacher tells you you can’t go out there and play with the rest of the kids," was how he described having to stay on the sidelines. "It’s frustrating."
At the same time, he said he has matured and didn't show his frustration as much as before, but he "definitely wanted to be out there."
He was given some responsibilities. He was tasked with leading along first-round draft pick Deone Bucannon and making sure second-year safety Tony Jefferson is staying in his playbook.
While other players are on vacation, Mathieu is back with his rehab every day. He doesn't feel he can afford to miss a day.
When training camp comes around, it will be interesting to see what the team allows him to do.
"Hopefully when camp starts I’ll be able to do individual drills with the defensive backs," he said. "I’m not asking them to let me out there for 11-on-11 or do one-on-ones. I definitely want to do drills with those guys, put a helmet on, put the shoulder pads on and just be a football player again."
How much will he do? When will he be completely ready? When he can play, how effective will he be? One thing for sure is he will give it his all.
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