Leki Fotu wound up on injured reserve a few weeks back, and he is one of those Steve Keim guys fighting to remain with the Arizona Cardinals. With an expiring contract at the end of the season, Fotu is facing perhaps the two most important weeks of his career, as the Cardinals have per Arizona Sports, designated him to return to in-game action. Therefore, the fourth-year defensive tackle should get his reps and more importantly, his chance.
If Fotu manages to return this Sunday, then he will have a full two-game stretch to show he deserves at least a two-year extension. He has, before a hand injury sidelined him, played rather well this season when compared to the past, with 25 combined tackles in 10 games, two quarterback hits, 2.5 sacks, and five tackles behind the line.
The latter two stats are career-highs, and you can only wonder what Fotu would have accomplished had he been healthy all year. Since the Cardinals defensive line remains banged up, he will also receive adequate time should he play in this week’s and next week’s games.
Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle should have a chance to stick around
Until this season, Fotu has been average at best during his time with the Cardinals, having never racked up more than a sack, three quarterback hits, four tackles for loss, and 31 combined tackles in a single season, despite missing just six career games between 2020 and 2022. Therefore, he has put his game forward this season, and if he enjoys a solid pair of contests, he could see himself lining up alongside high-profile rookie Dante Stills in 2024.
However, even if Fotu puts together a sound final two games, it still won’t completely solve the Arizona Cardinals issues at defensive line, as they should still look to the draft to fill the final slot. Carlos Watkins and L.J. Collier could return, and Jonathan Ledbetter may also find his way back, along with Roy Lopez, but none are game-changers, and are instead better suited as role players.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)