The Arizona Cardinals went into last week with a cleaner injury report and head into week three healthier than they have been all season. The return of injured players gives the team added depth and flexibility. It is a mark of progress as the Cardinals look to stay on the winning path.
The absence of Evan Mathis this week is a bit of concern as he continues to deal with injuries. Hopefully a week off to recover is all he needs to get healthy and be able to return to action. Robert Nkemdiche looks close to returning and very well could make his pro debut this weekend. There is a lot to look forward to as the Cardinals take on the Buffalo Bills this Sunday.
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Friday Injury Report
Questionable: Justin Bethel (CB), Robert Nkemdiche (DT)
Only Bethel and Nkemdiche find themselves listed as questionable this week. Bethel continues to make a slow recovery from offseason foot surgery. After being removed from the injury report last week he lands back on the list with a questionable designation, after logging limited practices this week. His recovery is expected to impact him throughout the year, but should be fine for Sunday.
Nkemdiche was ruled out last week after aggravating his ankle and could be severe enough to keep him out again this Sunday. He was limited this week at practice but was called out for his play at practice by head coach, Bruce Arians. The rookie defensive tackle should be active if healthy and make his regular season debut.
Doubtful: Kareem Martin (OLB), Frostee Rucker (DT)
Martin and Rucker, again, were not able to practice this week and are listed as doubtful for Sunday’s contest in Buffalo. Rucker is expected to miss another week or two after suffering a an MCL injury in the third quarter of the season opener against the New England Patriots. His status for Sunday is in doubt. In his absence Rodney Gunter is expected to get the start.
Martin has been nearing a return but still won’t be ready in time to play against Buffalo. His week three status is not promising after spraining his MCL in the preseason finale and continues to deal with the nagging knee injury. Alex Okafor figures to get the start as long as he remains out.
Out: Evan Mathis (G)
Mathis made a surprise start in week two after it was reported that he could miss up to four weeks. The 34-year-old apparently re-injured his foot in Arizona’s game with Tampa and did not practice all week; he has been ruled out for week three’s contest in Buffalo. It is unclear how long he will be out beyond Sunday’s game. Earl Watford will take over for the two-time Pro Bowler this week and possibly longer.