Early season injuries pile up for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals listed 10 different players on the team's injury report Wednesday.

After Arizona defeated Tampa Bay 40-7 on Sunday, head coach Bruce Arians expressed delight not just in his team's result, but in the Cardinals finishing their second game of the season without any serious injuries.

Even though the Cardinals haven't been forced to place anyone on injured reserve since cornerback Mike Jenkins suffered a torn ACL in the team's third preseason contest, the injury report the team published Wednesday listed 10 different players.


Nearly 20 percent of the team's 53-man roster was listed with various ailments Wednesday, including three players who did not practice in starting right guard Evan Mathis, starting defensive lineman Frostee Rucker and second-team outside linebacker Kareem Martin.

Mathis suffered a foot injury during Sunday's game against Tampa Bay, and though he returned to the playing field after initially leaving the game, Mathis was forced to finish the game on the sidelines after needing to come off the field again.

The 34-year old signed a one-year contract with Arizona this offseason to chase his second consecutive Super Bowl after winning a title with Denver last season, but has a lengthy injury history and played through pain for much of last season. Mathis was limited at points during training camp because of various ailments and may struggle to remain healthy for the duration of the season.

Rucker did not participate after suffering a knee injury against the New England Patriots in the team's season opener. The veteran defensive lineman was inactive Sunday against Tampa Bay, and second-year defensive tackle Rodney Gunter started in his place.

Martin has not practiced since suffering a knee injury against the Broncos in Arizona's final preseason contest, but Arizona did not feel as though it needed to place Martin on the team's physically unable to perform list at the beginning of the regular season. 

Left tackle Jared Veldheer, safety Tyrann Mathieu and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald were all listed on the team's injury report as 'limited' due to lingering injuries that carried over from the weekend (and in Mathieu's case from last season), but it would come as a mild surprise if any of the three players missed Sunday's game in Buffalo considering Arians thought the Cardinals existed the Tampa Bay contest in good health.

First round draft choice Robert Nkemdiche re-aggravated an ankle injury that kept him sidelined for much of the preseason on Friday, and Arians said it's unlikely Nkemdiche will be active because he's missed so much valuable practice time. Nkemdiche made his regular season debut in the season-opener against the Patriots, but was inactive on Sunday after re-injuring his ankle last week.

Though the Buffalo Bills listed fewer players on their injury report Wednesday, the Bills could be in worse shape than the Cardinals heading into Sunday's contest if tight end Charles Clay or wide receiver Sammy Watkins is limited.

Clay has been ailed by knee trouble for parts of his career and was listed on last week's injury report leading into the Bills' game against the New York Jets, but he still played. 

As for Watkins, a foot injury kept him out of Wednesday's practice even though he said Tuesday that he expects to play this week. 


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