Safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) talks with teammate Calais Campbell after fracturing his left thumb during the Falcons' game Sunday.
Bruce Arians talked about the worst-case scenario for safety Tyrann Mathieu and his broken left thumb, and in this year of injury after injury for the Arizona Cardinals, perhaps it's fitting that is what came to pass.
Mathieu's fractured thumb requires surgery and a pin. The procedure, which will take place Wednesday, is expected to sideline
Mathieu at least a couple of weeks, at which time Mathieu will play with a cast. That puts Mathieu's return either for the crucial Week 16 "Sunday Night Football" home game against the Seattle Seahawks, or the season finale in San Francisco.
Arians said Monday if Mathieu needed surgery, he'd miss three weeks.
It isn't great news but the Cardinals are equipped to deal with Mathieu's absence. They did it once already, using Tony Jefferson as a starter the first month of the season as Mathieu played very little while still coming back from his 2013 ACL surgery.
Mathieu didn't play the first game of the season and played a grand total of 35 snaps the next three games, before going 49 snaps against Washington five games and six weeks into the schedule. In the time before the Redskins game, Jefferson was solid at safety and Jerraud Powers was effective as a slot cornerback.
On the season, Mathieu has 31 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery, two tackles for loss and five passes defensed.
Mathieu had been hoping to cast up the thumb and play with it immediately.
PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE
The Cardinals lost wide reciever Solomon Patton off the practice squad Tuesday, after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Patton to the active roster. The Cards signed wide receiver Ryan Spadola -- who played four games with Miami and the Jets last season -- to replace Patton. He was recently on the Falcons' practice squad.