The Cardinals put linebacker John Abraham on injured reserve Friday, ending his season and likely his tenure with the team.
The roller coaster the Cardinals have been on with linebacker John Abraham is over, and likely so too is Abraham's career.
The veteran failed another concussion test Thursday, leading doctors to tell Abraham he needed to step away from football for at least a year. The Cardinals placed Abraham on season-ending injured reserve Friday, just a few days after returning from the team after
stepping away last week while he considered retirement.
Arians spoke with Abraham Friday morning.
"To get that kind of news was real hard," Arians said. "I feel bad for somebody because it's probably the end of the line."
With his contract set to expire after the season, the 36-year-old already was unlikely to return to the Cardinals next season. But by coming back and being put on IR, Abraham still receives his $3 million salary.
Abraham's spot on the roster was filled when the Cardinals re-signed punter Drew Butler. Butler was necessary after Dave Zastudil suffered a setback with his groin injury in practice. Zastudil will not play Sunday.
Arians said Abraham's loss extends to missing leadership.
"He was like any extra coach, sharing his knowledge every day," Arians said. "I'll miss him in the locker room
Said wide receiver Michael Floyd, "It's sad. He's a great player, a great leader for us, a veteran guy. It's tough to hear things like that
happen. For us, we've got to look to whoever's next in his position and hope nothing falls off."
Since finishing with a team-best 11½ sacks in 2013 and being named to the Pro Bowl, Abraham has been in and out for the Cardinals. He worked out sometimes at the team facility in the offseason, but skipped the voluntary organized team activities. He missed two of the three minicamp days with illness, coach Bruce Arians said, and then was arrested in late June in Georgia on a DUI.
Abraham then missed the first three weeks of training camp going through rehab before returning to the team. Arians declared him the starter and he played 36 snaps against the Chargers in the season opener before taking a knee to the helmet and suffering the concussion.
He told Arians after that game he wasn't sure his heart was still in playing the game, but decided over the weekend to return. The concussion wouldn't allow him to get back on the field, however.
Abraham has 133½ sacks in his career, ninth all-time in the NFL. He played in five Pro Bowls including last seasons, for three different teams.
STANTON TO START WITH PALMER STILL AILING
Arians announced the news everyone was expecting Friday, that Drew Stanton will get a second straight start at quarterback with Carson Palmer still unable to throw with a bruised nerve in his throwing shoulder.
If Palmer somehow begins to throw this weekend, there is still a chance he could be active Sunday, but it would be as Stanton's backup.
Palmer was officially listed as questionable.
RUCKER COULD RETURN, ELLINGTON PROBABLE
Defensive end Frostee Rucker (calf) could play Sunday. It'll be a game-day decision. He joins Palmer and tight end Rob Housler – who didn't practice again Friday – as questionable. Zastudil and linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) are out. Running back Andre Ellington (foot) has been listed as probable for the first time.
For the 49ers, tight end Vernon Davis (ankle) is questionable, although he told reporters he was taking it "nice and slow." He did not practice Friday, and neither did cornerback Tramaine Brock (toe), tackle Anthony Davis (hmastring) or tight end Vance McDonald (knee), all of whom are also questionable. Center Marcus Martin (knee) is out.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (back) is probable.
Images of the key 49ers players in advance of Sunday's game