Lost in that spectacular victory this past Sunday by the Arizona Cardinals was an injury sustained by one of the organization's favorite sons. D.J. Humphries, the longtime starter at left tackle, suffered a torn ACL during the Redbirds' 35-31 triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles. The season has obviously come to an end for Humphries, but the setback has also raised questions about the former first-round draft pick's future with the Cards franchise.
What lies ahead for Humphries is an offseason that will center around the rehabilitation of his damaged knee. While his teammates are honing their skills on the practice field, the 30-year-old will be doing his work on the side with the trainers. There's also a very good possibility that Humphries could miss a significant portion of Arizona's 2024 campaign.
Finances could also stand in the way of Humphries returning to the Cardinals next fall. According to Spotrac.com, the 6 foot 5, 307 pound blocker is scheduled to count over $22.9 million against the club's salary cap in each of the next two seasons. Only quarterback Kyler Murray will possess a larger cap hit ($51.8 million) in the coming year.
Arizona Cardinals could roll with a pair of young offensive tackles in the starting lineup next season
Paris Johnson Jr., the Cards' opening-round selection from last April's draft, has received rave reviews for his 16 starts at right tackle in 2023. However, the sixth-overall choice out of Ohio State University was acquired to eventually take over for Humphries on the left side. Will Johnson be Murray's new blindside protector when Arizona kicks off the '24 campaign next September?
With two first-round choices at their disposal in April, the Cardinals could look to add another young offensive tackle to pair with Johnson. Intriguing possibilities include Penn State's Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Notre Dame's Joe Alt, Georgia's Amarius Mims, and Alabama's JC Latham.
After a rocky rookie campaign under former head coach Bruce Arians, Humphries has developed into the leader of the squad's offensive line. It would be unfortunate for the veteran to end his time with the Cards in such a depressing way. It will be interesting to see how things turn out for the animated and classy Humphries.