Two weeks after his best game as a Cardinal, Robert Nkemdiche's season is over.
The defensive tackle suffered a knee injury Sunday against Detroit and will undergo surgery, coach Steve Wilks said Monday. He will be placed on injured reserve. Nkemdiche, the team's 2016 first-round pick, will go into the final year of his rookie contract next season and this offseason, the Cards will have to decide whether to activate his fifth-year option for 2020.
Nkemdiche played 22 snaps against the Lions before getting hurt. Wilks declined to get specific with the extent of Nkemdiche's injury.
UPDATE: Wilks said Wednesday Nkemdiche tore his ACL.
For the season, Nkemdiche had a career-best 4½ sacks -- second-most on the team after Chandler Jones' 12 -- and 36 tackles. He also forced a fumble.
"The last couple of weeks, I thought he played well," Wilks said. "He had that lull when he was hurt (earlier this season with a calf issue) and was out for a while, but I thought he came back and had a great game against the Chargers. He was just inconsistent because he hadn't been on the field."
Nkemdiche, who has suffered multiple injuries in his brief three-year career and also was a healthy inactive at times under Bruce Arians, has played only 27 games thus far out of what will be a possible 48 by season's end.
The loss hurts a defensive line that just saw fellow defensive tackle Olsen Pierre also go to IR last week with a knee injury. The starters remain Corey Peters and Rodney Gunter, but as of Sunday, the Cardinals did not have another defensive tackle on the roster -- instead going with six defensive ends. Defensive tackle Pasoni Tasini, who has been with the Cardinals off and on the past two seasons, is on the practice squad and a candidate to be promoted.