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Jared Veldheer To IR; Tyrann Mathieu Also Hurt

Wetzel takes over at left tackle; Cardinals call off practice this week because of health


Cardinals tackle Jared Veldheer will undergo triceps surgery.

The Cardinals aren't doing a lot of things the way they did in 2015 on their way to 13 victories, and that includes staying healthy.

Bruce Arians' club absorbed a major blow Sunday, with starting left tackle Jared Veldheer – who had not missed a start since signing with the Cardinals in 2014 – tearing his right triceps against the Panthers. Veldheer needs surgery, and is headed to injured reserve, his season over.

But that wasn't the only bad injury news. Tight end Ifeanyi Momah broke his wrist, and Arians said the team will likely come to an injury settlement with him, which will end his year. Safety Tyrann Mathieu suffered a shoulder subluxation. No surgery is needed, but Arians said Mathieu could miss anywhere from

3-to-6 weeks.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald also suffered a low ankle sprain, among other minor injuries.

It's bad enough that Arians canceled the two practices this week for Tuesday and Wednesday, turning them into meetings and video work only. Young players will get some work on the field with position coaches.

"Physically we need to rest up," Arians said, adding, "we wouldn't have very many guys to practice with anyway."

Arians said John Wetzel will replace Veldheer on the left side, with D.J. Humphries remaining at right tackle.

"(John) played extremely well the 18 to 20 plays he played, and has played very well every time we've asked him to play," Arians said. "I feel very comfortable with him. Obviously, he's not Jared, but he's solid."

The Cardinals are fortunate that safeties Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger are both playing well, but Mathieu's injury may impact who the Cardinals eventually bring back from injured reserve. Running back Chris Johnson was long considered likely, but the team may want to get back safety Tyvon Branch instead.

Arians still is confident in the second half of the season, with the Cardinals chasing the Seahawks in the NFC West and players like Wetzel stepping in. Tight end Darren Fells should be able to return from his ankle injury with Momah out, but the team still has Hakeem Valles if needed. Linebacker Alex Okafor (calf) should also come back.

"They know the 'Next Man Up' means something here," Arians said.

Veldheer has had a major injury once before. In 2013, he played in only five games for the Raiders after partially tearing his left triceps early in training camp. He was placed on the then injured reserve/able to return list, and played late in the season.

Veldheer was already dealing with a finger fracture on his right hand, hurt against Seattle last week. He had to play with a cast against Carolina before leaving the game.

"Losing Jared was a big loss for us," quarterback Carson Palmer said after Sunday's game. "I thought Wetzel came in and did a great job playing guard and going to left tackle playing a tougher spot to play upfront. But we will look at it and bounce back from this."

Some of the best images from the Week 8 game in Carolina

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