Cards without Dockett? There's a rare sight

September, 29, 2012
9/29/12
6:40
PM ET
Some NFL players prefer to finish dressing into their travel clothes before participating in postgame interviews.

The process can drag on for some.

Simple tasks such as getting into a shirt or buttoning a collar aren't so simple with a separated shoulder, mangled fingers or pinched nerves. I've seen players give up on buttoning their shirts all the way to the top. Sometimes, it's just not a battle worth fighting.



Year after year, game after game, Darnell Dockett has found a way to play through the ailments that come with life on an NFL defensive line.

The Arizona Cardinals' defensive lineman fought through a shoulder injury deep into the 2010 season. That year, he was one of the players struggling to get into his dress shirt following games. Dockett finally missed one game against Seattle in Week 10. That one game is all that stands between Dockett and a streak of 131 consecutive games played.

It's looking like a hamstring injury will prevent Dockett from playing against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

The Cardinals probably have enough depth on their line to play well without Dockett for the short term. But they'll miss him. Dockett has been a disruptive force for Arizona during the team's 3-0 start, especially against Seattle in Week 1. He also tipped the Tom Brady pass that teammate Patrick Peterson intercepted in Week 2.

The chart shows how the Cardinals' 2012 opponents have produced on offense with and without Dockett on the field. The sample size is small. One thing stands out to me: Arizona has allowed only two touchdowns in three games, both through the air, despite having faced Brady and Michael Vick.

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