A once stout Arizona Cardinals defense took another hit on Monday night, when the team learned they would be without star defensive tackle Darnell Dockett for the 2014 NFL season.

Per reports, the 33-year old left defensive end suffered a torn ACL and MCL in Monday’s practice and will be placed on season-ending injured reserve. While Dockett hadn’t quite been the elite pass-rusher he was in his prime, he was still highly effective and was being counted on for his versatile skill-set. Despite only putting up 4.5 sacks a year ago, Dockett has continued to be a solid two-way player that can both put pressure on the quarterback and also help against the run.

Arizona does still have the talented Calais Campbell on the right side, but without a proven pass rusher on the other side, opposing offense could concentrate on Campbell more.

Needless to say, it’s a mammoth-sized loss for a defense that already is getting ready for an entire year sans stud inside linebacker Daryl Washington and may not get safety Tyrann Mathieu back in time for the start of the season.

The Cardinals may have to turn to third round rookie Kareem Martin to start on the left side, while veteran Frostee Rucker could also be another option.

Arizona still has a good amount of talent on their roster, as stud cornerback Patrick Peterson leads a quality secondary from top to bottom. However, with Washington out, Karlos Dansby in Cleveland and now Dockett done for the year, their front line and linebacking corps suddenly leave a lot to be desired.

At the very least, a once athletic and aggressive unit is now looking to be fairly inexperienced. The Cardinals already had a bit of an issue at outside linebacker opposite of Jonathan Abraham, while all of their issues combine to make them appear old and slow. They will need some spirited play from the replacements for Washington and now Dockett to keep from slipping in the defensive ranks.

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *