The Cardinals are just a win away from ending the 2017 season at .500, but the team will have to beat the playoff contending Seahawks without one of their starting safeties. Head coach Bruce Arians revealed that veteran defensive back Antoine Bethea tore his pectoral muscle against the Giants in Week 16 and will be out for their regular season finale this Sunday, reports Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports (Twitter link). Somers adds that Bethea might need surgery because of the injury, but it wasn’t a definite at this point. The team has promoted linebacker Edmond Robinson in a corresponding move.
At 33 years old, Beathea was having an excellent 2017 campaign, leading the team with a career-high five interceptions in his 12th year in the league. He also was rated highly by the metrics at Pro Football Focus, coming in as the 12th best safety in football through 16 weeks, according to the website.
It would be tough to walk away from the game in the offseason given his recent play, but it’s something that you would think the defensive back would likely consider because of his age, in addition to the recovery process that comes with an injury as serious as this one.
Arizona will likely turn to rookie Budda Baker to replace Bethea on Sunday. Baker has been spectacular on special teams this season. The team’s 2017 second round pick was voted into the Pro Bowl as the number one special teams player in the NFC.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.