4:18pm: Head coach Bruce Arians indicated today that doctors told Abraham to sit out for a year after his most recent concussion test, tweets Urban. At this point, it seems likely that the linebacker is headed toward retirement, though no official decision has been made yet on that front.
11:29am: Just days after he returned to the club following a brief hiatus, veteran linebacker John Abraham has been placed on injured reserve by the Cardinals due to concussion-related issues, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). According to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (via Twitter), the team has re-signed punter Drew Butler to take Abraham’s roster spot.
Abraham, 36, suffered a concussion during Arizona’s Week 1 game against the Chargers, and took some time away from the team to consider the possibility of retiring. At that time, Schefter reported that Abraham had been suffering from memory loss during the last year, so it was somewhat surprising when the linebacker returned to the Cardinals this week.
Despite rejoining the club, Abraham didn’t pass concussion tests, so it makes sense that he and the team would make the decision to play it safe and shut him down for the year. Given the veteran’s health issues and age, it’s possible he has played his last NFL snap. Abraham, who is due a base salary of $3MM this season, is in the final year of his contract with the Cards.
The loss of Abraham is the latest blow to a Cardinals defense that has its handful of them so far this year. In addition to seeing linebacker Karlos Dansby head to Cleveland in free agency, the Cards also had defensive lineman Darnell Dockett go down with a season-ending ACL injury and linebacker Daryl Washington suspended for the entire 2014 season. We’ll have to wait to see if the Cardinals attempt to address their pass rush with an outside addition, or whether the club tries to get by with its current in-house options.