- Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Staff Writer
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The second major comeback of Tyrann Mathieu's career can begin Wednesday.
Mathieu, the Arizona Cardinals' second-year safety, was taken off the preseason physically unable to perform list Tuesday, the team announced. He passed his physical earlier in the day.
Wednesday will be eight months and 12 days since Mathieu tore his ACL and LCL in Week 14 last season against the St. Louis Rams while returning a free kick. Tuesday's announcement fast tracks Mathieu's goal to play in the Cardinals' season opener on "Monday Night Football" on Sept. 8 against San Diego, 20 days from Tuesday.
Whether the former Heisman Trophy finalist will be ready to play is yet to be seen. However, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, who first reported that Mathieu was scheduled to come off the PUP list Monday, said there is optimism inside the team that Mathieu will be on the field for MNF.
The earliest Mathieu can practice is Wednesday, when the Cardinals return from a day off.
Mathieu's return date was never set in stone and seemingly changed by the month during the offseason. Anywhere from Week 1 to Week 4 to October had been mentioned.
He had 68 tackles, two interceptions, one sack and one forced fumble last season.
Arizona also removed nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu from the PUP list.
1dDoug Clawson, ESPN Stats & Information