Skip to main content

Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

Knee Injury Slows Progress Of Rookie BJ Ojulari

Notes: Ertz and Wilson ready for USA games; Gannon talks newcomers

Linebacker BJ Ojulari is dealing with a knee injury.
Linebacker BJ Ojulari is dealing with a knee injury.

BJ Ojulari missed time in the spring with a hamstring injury, but it was a different injury that apparently cost the rookie linebacker most of his offseason.

Coach Jonathan Gannon revealed Wednesday BJ Ojulari, the second-round pick out of LSU, had surgery on his knee -- one of the reasons he ended up on the PUP list.

"He had a little nick after the draft process, truthfully, between the (Scouting) combine and draft process," Gannon said. "There was a bunch of different options to go, and we decided to have a little procedure to get it fixed. We're going to be smart with him."

Ojulari is hoping to be in the mix for playing time this season. The Cardinals have opportunity at outside linebacker, with Zaven Collins, Myjai Sanders, Cam Thomas, Victor Dimukeje and Dennis Gardeck the top candidates at the position.

Gannon expects to take the rookie off the PUP list sometime during camp.

"You'll see him out there in camp," Gannon said. "You'll see him pretty soon."


Tight end Zach Ertz walked into his press conference Wednesday wearing a jersey with "Ertz" on the back -- it just happened to be a No. 8 Julie Ertz U.S. Women's National Team soccer kit, with his wife playing Wednesday evening in the World Cup.

"I said to Julie, don't come home without that gold," said Ertz, who was able to attend the USWNT's opening World Cup win in New Zealand before quickly flying back for training camp.

The veteran tight end isn't the only one with a significant other competing for the United States. Rookie wide receiver Michael Wilson's girlfriend is Sophia Smith -- who netted in two goals in the opening game against Vietnam.

"I know Julie and Sophia are playing awesome. I think both women might be better athletes than the guys wearing red, white, and black" Gannon said with a smile. "The team is excited for those guys, so we'll have (Wednesday's game) on the TVs in the meal room."

Ertz said this is the longest that he'll be away without seeing his son, Madden. Madden is in New Zealand, being watched by Ertz's mother as Julie plays.

"It's tough being apart from him. It's definitely emotional saying goodbye," Ertz said. "It's going to be tough missing his first birthday, as long as they're still playing. At the end of the day, this is going to be an amazing story to tell."


Two veterans signed Tuesday -- tight end Geoff Swaim and offensive lineman Pat Elflein -- potentially could be key pieces in their respective units.

With Ertz on the PUP list, Swaim's nine NFL seasons are crucial at a position that has little experience, with Trey McBride -- who was a rookie last season -- the only healthy player with significant game action. Swaim played the past three seasons with Tennessee, where GM Monti Ossenfort last worked.

Elflein is another new roster member that has spent seven years in the NFL. Gannon and the offensive lineman have crossed paths before. Gannon was coaching with the Vikings when they drafted the Ohio State product. Elflein can play center or guard, having started at both spots in the NFL.

"He's an interior player that's played at a high level," Gannon said. "He's a very smart and very capable player. I'm excited to watch him get in there and compete for a job."

Related Content