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Rookie O’Brien Schofield Continues Knee Rehab

2010 fourth round pick, OLB O’Brien Schofield’s recovery after shredding his knee is apparently going swimmingly.  Well, it’s more running in water than swimming.  The former Wisconsin Badger spends each day inching closer towards the playing field by putting in time in the weight room, film room, and as you can see, the Hydro Track, which is a water tank with a treadmill at the bottom.

Thankfully the Cardinals have a dearth of bodies to place at OLB, unlike ILB.  According to the Cardinals’ official website, Schofield will likely start the season on the physically unable to perform list, which would make him ineligible to play the first six games, but he could possibly play after that.  If he’s still unable to play after the first six games, the Cardinals would put him on injured reserve. 

There’s no rush.  Presently, the Cardinals have Joey Porter, Clark Haggans, Will Davis, Cody Brown, Stevie Baggs, and Mark Washington healthy and ready to go at OLB.  Porter and Haggans are the obvious starters on the outside, but the inside linebacker picture has become quite hazy with the news that Gerald Hayes had back surgery to repair a bulging disc.

Obviously, Hayes won’t be ready to go by training camp, which leaves an empty spot besides Paris Lenon.  That alone is a scary thought.  Lenon was a big question mark to begin with and now he’s the only starter at ILB, which begs the question: When is Daryl Washington going to start?  If asked, I don’t think Whisenhunt would give a different answer than the one he’s already given.  Rookies are brought along slowly by the Cardinals and it’s probable that Whisenhunt doesn’t want to rush Washington.  At this point, however, there doesn’t seem to be another viable option.  The bottom line is that a trouble position just got a lot worse.  If Hayes’ recovery drags out, it may be sink or swim time for Washington and the defense. 

The thing that’s troubling about this situation is that Whisenhunt, Graves and the rest of the staff obviously knew that Hayes had back issues dating to last season.  He missed time last season due to the same injury, an injury which he played through during the playoffs; any fan could see that Hayes was not right.  It’s impossible for the Cards’ front office to say they didn’t anticipate Hayes having surgery and possibly missing a good chunk of the 2010 season.  Signing Paris Lenon was not the answer and now he’s the lone starter.  There’s a difference between depth for depth’s sake and quality depth.  Paris Lenon is the former.

Paging Larry Foote.

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