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John Abraham Decides To Return

Notebook: Mathieu role should increase; No new injuries for Cardinals

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Linebacker John Abraham (55), who had been considering retirement, has told the Cardinals he wants to continue playing.


John Abraham has decided to stay.

The veteran linebacker told the Cardinals he will be returning to the team Tuesday after leaving last week to consider retirement. Abraham had suffered a concussion in the opener and went to the doctor Monday as he tries to get through the final stages of the concussion protocol. That would have to be passed first before Abraham could get back on the field.

Coach Bruce Arians said Abraham had been talking about a return with a couple of players Saturday night

as the Cardinals prepared to play the Giants in New York, and Abraham and Arians had been trading text messages the last three days.

About a half-hour before Arians' Monday press conference, Abraham gave the coach the go-ahead to announce his return.

"He's ready to play," Arians said, adding that he didn't worry about Abraham's commitment. "I knew a lot of the (retirement consideration) had to do with the headaches, it's the first real big (concussion) he's ever had. There are other things we are dealing with, and he is fine with those."

Abraham, 36, is in the final year of his contract. He led the Cardinals with 11½ sacks last season, and with only two sacks through two games, the Cards certainly could use what Abraham has been able to provide.

Arians said if Abraham is cleared to play, he will move back into the starting lineup. The Cardinals will have to release someone on the roster to make room for Abraham.

MATHIEU IMPROVING

Safety Tyrann Mathieu played just five snaps in his season debut coming off his ACL rehab. That should increase.

"I saw the quickness, I saw a couple things," Arians said. "He didn't play that much. He was disappointed. I would've liked to see him play more too but he's not ready to play that much yet. I think his role should increase this week. We will see what packages we have and where he fits best.

"The guys that are playing where he was playing are playing pretty good, so until he can show he's totally 100 percent and ready to roll, I'm not taking those guys out."

Mathieu, asked how close he was to being the old Tyrann Mathieu, said "right now, I guess." But he admitted the opinion of coaches and trainers factor in to that.

"I'm still progressing," Mathieu said. "The more snaps you get the more opportunities you get to make plays, and I just want to make plays."

COMING OUT OF NEW YORK CLEAN

Arians said the Cardinals suffered no injuries against the Giants. Linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (calf) are trying to return, while quarterback Carson Palmer's situation with a bad right shoulder remains day-to-day and a large unknown.

Arians said running back Andre Ellington's foot remains painful, but he isn't as sore as he was after the first game. The hope is that he can practice some Thursday and Friday and hopefully can get enough rest during the bye week that the injury will subside.


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