Darnell Dockett was one of the main reasons why the Arizona Cardinals made the leap from worst to almost first last season, but now, their defense is facing some serious question marks that could have an effect on the entire season. Reports surfaced on Monday night that an MRI has revealed that Dockett has a torn ACL, and will require surgery that will put the brakes on his 2014 campaign
Dockett sustained the torn ACL only an hour into practice on Monday, and had to be carted off the field. Any time a player has to be carted off the field, especially if it is a difference-maker on defense, it is not a good sign.
Dockett being lost for the season will require the Cardinals to try to plug a hole that appears to big to fill. Frostee Rucker will be the first player to try to fill the hole, and Rucker is not a bad second option. He is an eight-year veteran who has a nose for wreaking havoc and getting to the quarterback, and the Cardinals will be depending on him to do just that in Dockett’s absence.
Make no mistake, Dockett’s absence will be felt, and it will put pressure on the secondary to carry the defensive load. That said, If Rucker can regain the play that saw him put up career numbers in 2011 and 2012 with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, some of the Cardinals’ defensive questions will be answered.
Until then, Cardinal fans are going to have to hold their breath.