Linebacker John Abraham celebrates his third sack Sunday against Houston.
For six games, it was nothing.
But coach Bruce Arians knew John Abraham was close. Now, the floodgates have opened for the veteran pass rusher. The linebacker has six sacks in the Cards' last three games, and Abraham has also forced three fumbles in that time.
"You get sacks in bunches," Abraham said. "I was blanked out those first few games, but they come in bunches. I've been doing this for 14 years. You can never be discouraged with sacks. You get 16 games. I know guys who have four sacks in a game, five sacks in a game and they only have 20 or 30 for a career. It's all about who can get them consistently. It's impossible to get one a game almost. One for me a game (as an average) is perfect – that's 16 a year."
Abraham was feeling the tug of his hamstring in the Houston game but played through it. While he sat out Wednesday's practice this
week and was limited again Thursday, Abraham had no doubt he will play Sunday in Jacksonville, especially during his hot streak.
"As long as it's not something that can hinder me from playing, I don't care," Abraham said. "I've played through a lot worse. Smalls nicks and such. It doesn't bother me."
The sacks are good, but it is Abraham's run defense Arians said he has been pleasantly surprised about, since Abraham because of injuries is now an every-down linebacker. The rest, Arians said, was going to come.
"Guys that rush the passer never lose that knack," Arians said.
Earlier this season, Abraham talked about eventually catching friend Michael Strahan in sacks – Strahan had 141½ sacks in his career, while Abraham now has 128. Abraham is tied with Saints Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson for 11th on the NFL's all-time leader list.
"Obviously it's in the back of my mind but that's not what I play for," Abraham said. "I play because I enjoy playing and we're winning and I'm enjoying the time now. I don't think about it."
But, Abraham added, "On Mondays, I like to hear 'You did this, you did that.' "
FLOYD FEELING GOOD, SAID HE'LL PLAY SUNDAY
Arians lamented the shoulder injury of wide receiver Michael Floyd against the Texans, in part because "I thought Mike was going to have a big-time game."
The notion brought a small smile to Floyd's face. "I did feel the same way in that game."
Floyd was upgraded to limited work Thursday because of his right shoulder sprain, but Floyd said he plans on playing Sunday in Jacksonville. Floyd has at least three receptions in every game save for Sunday's because of the injury, and with 36 catches for 464 yards will – barring another setback – easily surpass his rookie totals of 45 catches for 562 yards.
"I feel like I am progressing every single week, and I think that's just being comfortable out there," Floyd said. "I feel like I can do what I have always been able to do, which is make plays."
ROBERTS BACK FULL AND AN INJURY UPDATE
Wide receiver Andre Roberts (knee) was upgraded to full practice Thursday, while fellow receiver Brittan Golden (hamstring) was upgraded to limited work for the Cardinals. Linebacker Dontay Moch (illness) remained out. Defensive end Frostee Rucker (calf) was still limited.
For the Jaguars, running back Maurice Jones-Drew (knee) was upgraded to limited work, although wide receivers Cecil Shorts (groin) and Stephen Williams (Achilles) along with defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder) were all downgraded to DNP Thursday. Wide receiver Stephen Burton (concussion) and linebacker Paul Posluszny (concussion) also did not practice.
Wide receiver Mike Brown (ankle), tight end Danny Noble (hamstring) and offensive lineman Will Rackley (head) were limited, as was cornerback Alan Ball, who was added to the injury report with an ankle problem."