How a budding Arizona Cardinals superstar became ordinary
/ Cardinals

By Jim Koch

While still playing in a game he should’ve been taken out of, Tyrann Mathieu’s Arizona Cardinals career got derailed by injury

It should’ve been a night of complete happiness for the Arizona Cardinals. The date was December 20th, 2015, and head coach Bruce Arians’ squad had just thrashed the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately, their NFC West-clinching road victory came with a steep price.

With just 2:37 remaining in the contest, and the Cards holding a comfortable 23 point lead, starting safety Tyrann Mathieu injured his knee. The star defensive back jumped into the air to intercept a Sam Bradford pass, then proceeded to land awkwardly on his right leg. The “Honey Badger” was able to walk gingerly to the locker room, but was eventually diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Amid some justified hooting and hollering by Arizona players after the win, was some grave concern shown by veterans in the know. The look on quarterback Carson Palmer’s face when Mathieu was being led off of the field was one of both worry and disgust. The signal-caller was aware of how much the defender meant to the team, and the ramifications of losing such an...

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