So the hope is that Deone Bucannon will be back for the beginning of the regular season, after the news that the linebacker recently had ankle surgery to repair the injury he had hoped rehab would solve. That means for the offseason -- and into training camp, if not all of training camp -- it'll be No. 1 draft pick Haason Reddick who will step into the breach.
That's fine -- ultimately, Reddick figures to spend more time at inside linebacker than outside, and inside is where he was slated to spend the offseason anyway. Bruce Arians said Tuesday the Cardinals get that Reddick already knows how to rush the passer. Now it's about learning the other position. But this also will make the latter stages of training camp and the beginning of the regular season very interesting.
The inside linebacker corps becomes thinner now, much different than just a week ago when Bucannon was in the fold, Reddick could fill in and -- at least briefly -- there was a chance Daryl Washington might be in the mix. The Washington return was a non-starter, though, and now Bucannon is sidelined. If Bucannon comes back early in the season, it's easy to forget it ever happened -- does anyone remember that left guard Mike Iupati missed the first three games of the 2015 season because of a knee injury, only to return to Pro Bowl status in a 13-3 season?
The kind of guy Bucannon is, he'll push hard to return quickly. I could see him being the kind of guy who may have to be told to take it easy and let the healing take place. In the meantime, though, Reddick is on deck.