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Patience Is The Key With Tyrann Mathieu

Coming off his 2nd ACL injury, being patient with Tyrann Mathieu is paramount for the success of the Arizona Cardinals.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Cardinals may not be off to the start we were all expecting in 2016, but that isn't to say they aren't getting some great individual contributions from players. Kevin Minter, for example, has stepped up in a big way in his fourth season with the team. Calais Campbell, Markus Golden and other players have been terrific so far as well.
A player we can't necessarily put on that list? Tyrann Mathieu.

Coming off his 2nd ACL injury, Mathieu has looked overly cautious at times, which doesn't lend to the playing style that has made him a household name in the NFL. Starting as a single high safety for the first 4 games of the season, Mathieu was once again asked to move down into the box and occupy the slot due to the injury to Tyvon Branch.

So far, that move hasn't yielded the greatest results either. In the last game against the New York Jets, Mathieu was targeted 9 times by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith, giving up 6 completions. Granted, one of those targets resulted in a nice interception for Mathieu, but the mere fact that he was targeted that many times -- especially by an inept offense like the Jets have -- was surprising.

So what's wrong with Mathieu? Well, nothing, really.

Remember, the last time Mathieu tore his ACL, it took him quite a while to get back up to speed. It has been just 10 months since he tore it in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, so he is still technically in the recovery process.

Being patient with Mathieu and waiting for his full recovery is what will pay the most dividends in the end. And if the Honey Badger is playing well and back to his old ways, the Arizona Cardinals will benefit from that the most.