Big Loss: Cards Lose ‘Badger To Torn ACL

Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) picks off a pass intended for San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) in the 2nd quarter of their NFL Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015 in Glendale, Ariz.

The Arizona Cardinals worst fears regarding Tyrann Mathieu became a reality Monday when head coach Bruce Arians announced during his weekly press conference the talented safety would miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL in his right leg in the closing moments of the Cards’ 40-17 win over the Eagles in Philadelphia Sunday night. The rising star had an MRI performed Monday morning which confirmed the worst for the NFC West Champions.

“I love the player, but I love the person more,” an emotional Arians told the assembled media at the team headquarters in Tempe. “It’s a shame…it’s always a non-contact injury when these things happen.”

Mathieu stepped in front of a Sam Bradford pass with 2:37 to play falling awkwardly to the turf. He was immediately taken to the locker room to be examined. Even several hours before the final diagnosis the Cardinals understood and seemed to brace for the worst.

“This is such a bittersweet win,” quarterback Carson Palmer said after the game. “We’ll see what happens.”

Mathieu, an NFL Defensive Player of the Year Candidate, left the field under his own power which initially gave some within the organization optimism.

“He was walking fine,” Arians said Monday. “The MRI said differently.”

“The Honey Badger” was tied for the team lead in interceptions (five) and was second in tackles with 89. He is expected to have surgery in “the next couple weeks” according to Arians. Mathieu tore the ACL and LCL in his other knee back in 2013.