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Tyrann Mathieu's return coming, but tackling needed

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Bruce Arians wasn't kidding when he said Mathieu had to play in the preseason finale to play in the season opener.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu might get to play in the team's season opener on Monday Night Football. But it doesn't look terribly likely.

All head coach Bruce Arians would commit to in his media session on Friday was to say "he's going to tackle somebody this week."

Arians said he "wasn't kidding" when he indicated that Mathieu would have to get some reps in the team's preseason finale to be able to play Week 1. Mathieu did not play despite suiting up. Mathieu indicated that was simply a tease.

Asked if Arians he held out any hope about his second-year safety playing. "We'll see after he tackles someone," he said. When a reporter followed up asking if there would be a volunteer to get tackled, Arians said, "that's what the practice squad is for.

The general feeling among those covering the team is one of skepticism. The timetable Arians once revealed of having Mathieu back by October seemed more in line with what will probably happen. After all, at the start of training camp, Mathieu himself said he was probably 6-8 weeks away, which would have put him returning around the bye week.