Of all the injuries the Arizona Cardinals suffered over the last two seasons, the most gruesome was the knee injury Tyrann Mathieu suffered near the end of 2013. Tearing up multiple ligaments in his knee, he healed relatively quickly, but didn't get significant playing time until about halfway into the 2014 season.
He didn't look like the same player. Then, late in the season, he also broke his thumb, setting him back more.
However, two offseasons later, Mathieu appears to be back to his rookie form. Mike Jurecki tweeted the team believe Mathieu "is back to the player he was before the injuries." He has looked very good in drills, is moving and cutting well and with confidence.
A completely recovered Mathieu makes an impact. In his debut, he saved a touchdown by forcing a fumble from behind. When he went down with his knee injury, the defense was shredded by Ryan Fitzpatrick the next week. He was not a volume stat guy, but his play on the field made the team so much better defensively.
His role moving forward is a question. Will he be a full-time safety or will he split time there and in the slot like he did his rookie year. If he plays safety, will he be on the field all the time or split time, as the team has four quality safeties with him -- Rashad Johnson, Deone Bucannon and Tony Jefferson?
A healthy Mathieu can be a difference maker. He is instinctive and a playmaker. He wants to be the best. A healty Mathieu means a better team.