Robert Nkemdiche's Season Over With Knee Injury

Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (90) is going to be placed on injured reserve after hurt his knee Sunday against Detroit.
Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (90) is going to be placed on injured reserve after hurt his knee Sunday against Detroit.

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.

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