After an athlete gets a part of their body reconstructed it has been said they are never the same no matter their age. There have been many cases of an ACL, MCL, and any other CL torn in the knee of many players that come back, but are not quite the same player they were before the injury.
Then there are freakish by nature athletes that just tick to another clock, the earliest of examples is Adrian Peterson’s return from an ACL injury and his performance after that, which spoke for itself.
The eye test would say the same nature is in Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, after tearing every ligament in his knee during his first punt return last year. Watching that same punt return shows the reason he got hurt was because of his freakish nature to never quit on a play. As seen on tape he tried so hard to shake lose of a tackle that he ripped his knee completely in the process.
It is that same tenacity and determination that is getting him through his rehabilitation and with out a doubt he is fighting that the same way he did those defenders when he got hurt. How is that possible? players like that are built different mentally more so than physically.
Mathieu is on the road to recovery and he may not return as fast as Peterson did but it is evident he will not be effected by the injury mentally at all. If that is not proof enough, another example of his strong mind is how he has handled himself as a professional after having issues with marijuana use in the past.
It is mind over matter and look for this kid to come back as a force to be reckoned with on defense, much like Peterson did at the running-back position.
Depending on his return which is predicted to be after the teams week four bye, his numbers for the remainder of the season should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 solo tackles and 2 interceptions, and 3 sacks, and not to mention the times he will disrupt an offensive play of the opponent.