John Abraham - #55 - Linebacker - 6'4" - 263lbs
News: Abraham was excused from training camp Friday due to a personal matter, thereby delaying his conditioning test, Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Impact: Despite ringing in at 36 years old, the test is likely all but a formality for the greybeard, who has missed a grand total of two games over the last seven seasons. As long as the Cardinals keep his snaps in check, Abraham will have every opportunity to tally double-digit sacks for the ninth time in 15 campaigns. However, the loss of Karlos Dansby via free agency will place the burden on second-year linebacker Kevin Minter to hold down the fort inside, which could hinder Abraham's pass-rush opportunities.
News: Mathieu (knee) said Friday that his health won't allow him to play for 6-to-8 weeks, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.
Impact: The upper bound (eight weeks) coincides with a divisional clash against the 49ers in Week 3, which is ahead of coach Bruce Arians' contention in mid-June that he'd be surprised if Mathieu is active before October. Meanwhile, Mathieu was able to run during Friday's conditioning test, according to the Cardinals' official site, but he said that he held back to avoid stealing the show. His absence will allow Rashad Johnson and Tony Jefferson to take on the starting safety spots during the preseason, though rookie Deone Bucannon is also in the mix.
Troy Niklas - #87 - Tight End - 6'6" - 270lbs
News: Niklas is slated to wear a soft cast on his right hand for the first 10 days of training camp, Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 Phoenix reports.
Impact: The Cardinals' second-round selection in this year's draft, Niklas suffered a broken bone in the hand in the latter half of spring drills, stalling his understanding of the offense. Even when healthy, he may be hard-pressed to beat out the likes of John Carlson and Jake Ballard in the base offense -- coach Bruce Arians utilizes two-tight-end sets and no fullback -- and Niklas' continued recovery doesn't help matters. Ringing in at 6-6, 270, Niklas is in Arians' mold and will be given a long leash to prove he belongs in the desert.
Deone Bucannon - #36 - Safety - 6'1" - 211lbs
News: Bucannon appears to be over the turf toe injury that afflicted him throughout spring drills, the Cardinals' official site reports. On Wednesday, when asked how he spent the dead time between June's mandatory minicamp and training camp, he said, "I'd go to the gym constantly."
Impact: As training camp opens, safety Tyrann Mathieu is still recovering from the torn ACL and LCL that he sustained in the final month of last season, which would indicate that this year's first-round pick, Bucannon, is surely considered a starter. However, the two spots have been entrusted to Rashad Johnson (21 career starts in five seasons) and second-year pro Tony Jefferson for now, leaving Bucannon nowhere to go but up. Due to the relative inexperience of the trio, though, Bucannon's performance could propel him into a starting gig by Week 1.
Larry Fitzgerald - #11 - Wide Receiver - 6'3" - 218lbs
News: Fitzgerald (hamstring) is the Cardinals' No. 1 wideout entering training camp, which commenced for the team Friday, Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 Phoenix reports.
Impact: Fitzgerald has displayed no signs of the balky hamstring that held him back a bit during the mandatory minicamp in June. Meanwhile, working with Carson Palmer for a second year in a row should help him keep much the same utility that aided in his bounce back last season, when he recorded his first double-digit touchdown campaign since 2009. Moreover, he ranked in the Top 20 in terms of receptions -- 18th, to be exact, with 82 in all -- aiding those in PPR leagues. Although fellow wideout Michael Floyd (65 catches for 1,041 yards and five touchdowns) is apt to continue his development, Fitzgerald has shown no signs of regression -- he dropped just one pass in 2013 -- ensuring his status as a starter in all formats.
Alameda Ta'amu - #66 - Defensive Tackle - 6'3" - 348lbs
Wed. July 23, 2014 | STATS
News: Arizona's Tyrann Mathieu and Ta'Amu will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list as they recover from last season's injuries.
Impact: Ta'Amu tore his ACL in a season-ending loss to San Francisco. No timetable has been set for their return.
Wed. July 23, 2014 | STATS
News: Mathieu and nose tackle Alamdea Ta'Amu will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list as they recover from last season's injuries.
Impact: Considered a risky pick after his legal troubles at LSU, Mathieu rehabilitated his image with a superb rookie season after the Cardinals drafted him in the third round. Mathieu's season ended in early December when he tore two knee ligaments while returning a free kick against St. Louis.
Wed. July 23, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Mathieu (knee) will begin training camp on the PUP list, the Cardinals' official website reports.
Impact: Mathieu tore both his ACL and LCL back in December, but has since made significant progress in his recovery, causing optimism regarding his Week 1 status. While he's sidelined for the beginning of training camp, Rashad Johnson will start at free safety, although the position seems to be Mathieu's to lose once healthy. Despite inconsistent playing time to start his rookie campaign, Mathieu still totaled 68 tackles (65 solo), one sack, and two interceptions in 13 games last year. As such, if he's cleared by the time the regular season kicks off, Mathieu represents dynamic IDP option whose versatility to play both safety and slot corner should make him a three-down player.
Mon. July 21, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Mathieu (knee) appears poised to start the season on the PUP list, FOX Sports 910 Phoenix reports.
Impact: The development is expected, after Mathieu tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee last Dec. 8. Coach Bruce Arians himself doesn't believe that Mathieu will take the field until October, despite the defensive back's frequent reports regarding his speedy recovery sans any setbacks. If Mathieu's season debut is in fact delayed, his absence should allow Rashad Johnson to start at free safety in Week 1.