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The Arizona Cardinals announced they placed safety Tyvon Branch on injured reserve Tuesday.
Continue for updates.
Branch Still a Possibility to Return in 2016 Season
Tuesday, Oct. 4
Branch injured his groin Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams and, along with running back Chris Johnson—who also suffered a groin injury—was moved to IR.
But according to the team, at least one of them could return this season, per Darren Urban of the team’s website: “Depending on the severity, one of the two could still come back. Teams don’t have to declare who is on IR-to-return, as long as that player sits out eight weeks. That would make one eligible for the Dec. 4 game at home against Washington.”
Certainly, getting Branch back would be a major boost for the team. He has the versatility to play both safety and slot corner, and as Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com noted, was making a nice impact this season:
Hits keep coming for Cards. Chris Johnson and especially Tyvon Branch are big losses to I.R. Branch playing quality starter snaps
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) October 4, 2016
Branch, 29, has registered 23 tackles this season. But his injury also means superstar Tyrann Mathieu will likely see his role change slightly in the team’s defense.
As Urban noted: “Without Branch, the need for Tyrann Mathieu—who talked Monday about the urgency of getting back into his role of slot cornerback—to play the slot becomes more important.”
Mathieu has thrived in the role in the past, but Branch offered the Cardinals added versatility in the secondary. Unfortunately, injuries have become a major storyline in his career. Coming into the 2016 season, he had missed 29 games since the 2012 season.
Now, he’ll add at least eight more games to that number, and possibly will be lost for the duration of the season.
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