Tyrann Mathieu was having one of the best seasons of any rookie in the NFL this season and certainly represented the best value considering he was a third round selection after missing his junior season at LSU for off-the-field reasons. However, the ACL and LCL tear he suffered in the Arizona Cardinals win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday likely means he is out of the running for the defensive rookie of the year award.
“The job he did in the three positions he played was outstanding, and I don’t know if (the injury) will hurt him (in the voting) or some other guy will get it,” Bruce Arians tells AZCardinals.com. “There are other deserving guys out there also, but he meant a lot to us because of his flexibility and his positions. It will take two guys to take his place.”
While it would have been a nice feather in the cap of the former LSU All-American who was preparing for a trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony this time two years ago, that’s not on the mind of the Cardinal’s rookie free safety/nickel corner/returner.
“Hopefully this can add some motivation into my life and let me reflect even more, grow closer to God and those type of things.”… “This injury, in addition to what I have been through off the field, hopefully those things can come together and make me stronger and more of a leader,” Mathieu said.
It may be some time before we see Mathieu back on the field for the Cardinals, but if he attacks his rehab with the same mindset and approach he had on Sundays this year, there is little doubt he will be back sooner rather than later. He’s a great player who has put his career back on the right track and I can’t wait to see how he comes back in 2014.