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Tyrann Mathieu expected to be activated from PUP Tuesday, could play in opener

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The team thinks he could play in the season opener

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals, on the heels of receiving bad news about defensive lineman Darnell Dockett, should be getting an important player back on defense.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cardinals will activate safety Tyrann Mathieu from the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, which will allow him to finally practice with the team. Schefter also noted that there is optimism that he will be able to play in the team's season opener on September 8.

The news of being activated should be no surprise, as it was speculated last week he would be activated this week, but the possibility he could play in the season opener is more surprising.

The question will be, like other players upon return after major knee surgery, whether he can move around on the football field the same way and whether he will now suffer little nagging injuries that frequently come with the recovery process -- hamstrings, groins, quads -- all muscles that must reacclimate to football.

His return brings other questions, at least early on. Will he be placed immediately back in his role last season of playing safety in base defenses and slot corner in others, or whether he will stick to one role, especially with how Jerraud Powers has played in the slot.

How excited are you for Mathieu's return, and do you think he will look like  the Mathieu of 2013 that was on track to be a strong candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year?