The Arizona Cardinals were dealt a serious blow with the news of Jared Veldheer going down for the season with a torn triceps.
That means they are going to have lost two veteran starters along their offensive line in only eight games in 2016, with Evan Mathis having been put on IR just four weeks ago.
What was expected to be a strength, the offensive line continues to be a work in progress for the Arizona Cardinals. Now, with maybe their two best blockers done for the year, Mike Iupati has been less than his normal near All-Pro self this year due to his own injury issues, it is up to little known John Wetzel to step in and fill Veldheer’s mammoth void.
How important is Veldheer? He's one of the least helped tackles in pass protection in the NFL:
These are the OTs getting the least "help" in Pass Pro this season.— Ben Stockwell (@PFF_Ben) November 1, 2016
E Fisher KC
M Schwartz KC
T Williams WAS
D Bakhtiari GB
J Veldheer ARZ
Wetzel has a massive role to step into, not just because he has such little experience and he is replacing a veteran, but because the Cardinals, correct or not, just do not help Veldheer much. Now, with Wetzel, they will have to adapt... Right?
In the preseason Wetzel played not badly when he has gotten snaps at left tackle, from Steve Palazzolo:
Wetzel was -3.9 on 195 snaps in the old system during preseason.
In his less than half a game this year Wetzel graded out, per Palazzolo:
Slightly negative on 17 snaps vs Car, mostly pass pro
Those numbers are not great, but they are not Levi Brown, Bradley Sowell bad either.
All in all, it is a huge loss for the Cardinals, maybe it is not the final nail in the coffin, but the Cardinals will need John Wetzel to play the best of his career and the rest of the Cardinals to figure it out, for this season to be salvaged.