Peterson back on limited basis as Cardinals open minicamp
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals opened their three-day minicamp with Patrick Peterson among the participants, on a limited basis.
''Patrick was out there for the first time and did all his individual work,'' coach Bruce Arians said. ''He'll be ready next week probably. He'll be fine.''
The All-Pro cornerback had not been able to practice since undergoing ankle surgery at the end of last season.
''It felt great,'' Peterson said after the workout in the morning desert heat. ''The ankle wasn't an issue. It's not sore or anything right now. It's always a good thing to put the helmet back on, especially when it's been almost six months since I strapped the helmet up.''
Peterson is coming off his fifth, and best, NFL season, defending the best receiver each opponent had to offer as the Cardinals went 13-3, the second-best record in the NFC. In the process, he joined Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith as the only NFL players to earn five Pro Bowl berths before age 26.
Peterson injured his right ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 22. He kept playing but he said it worsened as the season progressed and he decided to ''clean up'' the ankle when the season ended to reduce the risk of re-injury.
''It was right to nip it in the bud right now,'' he said, ''versus going into the season and keeping my fingers crossed that I don't get that ankle sprain.''
Tuesday's session was a good test of the ankle, Peterson said.
''So I can be at peace,'' he said. ''I know I can do it but when you have ankle surgery, being a corner and my job is based on cutting and explosiveness and things like that, you want to make sure that you're comfortable. The goal was definitely to get out there and do some individual things here at minicamp, and goal accomplished.''
He said he is sure he'll be ''100 percent'' healthy when players report to training camp in Glendale on July 28.
During OTAs the past few weeks, Peterson watched from the sidelines and helped coach the younger cornerbacks.
''It definitely helped me a lot, being on the sideline, being on the outside looking in, helping these guys,'' Peterson said. ''It gave me a different perspective on the position because I'm always the guy on the field.''
He said it was probably the first time he'd missed practice since he came to the NFL.
''Very, very difficult,'' he said. ''The trainers definitely did a good job of keeping the handcuffs on me because I was on them each and day, `Let's get out there and do SOMETHING,' because I'm not used to this. I'm always practicing.''
Notes: Arians called the practice ''an outstanding beginning to the minicamp. I couldn't have asked for anything more. `' ... The temperature was a shade under 100 degrees when practice ended, headed for a high of 106.
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