had 68 tackles and three interceptions in 13 games before his injury. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
When Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu went down with a torn ACL and LCL during Week 14, there was significant concern the rookie standout would miss a handful of games to start the 2014 season.
However, Mathieu has been working incredibly hard to return to the field and could be ready to play in Week 1, according to Cardinals general manager Steve Keim.
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"We think there's a chance that he'll be back by the beginning of the season," Keim said during an interview with SiriusXM Radio.
"He has been a gym rat. He's in here all the time. We have to kick him out of the building and tell him, 'Tyrann, go home for a little bit.' He's always in the training room doing his rehab."
While recovery from an ACL injury has been improved in recent years, the same can't be said for a torn LCL as the knee needs significant rehab to regain its stability. But Mathieu, determined to get back on the field, has continually surpassed plateaus placed on him by doctors on his road to recovery.
Just last month, head coach Bruce Arians said he was under the impression that Mathieu would begin training camp on the PUP list, which says plenty about his recovery.
The Cardinals host the San Diego Chargers
on Monday Night Football to open their season.