Arizona Cardinals: Deone Bucannon should be ready for Week 1

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17: Running back Matt Forte
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17: Running back Matt Forte /

Arizona Cardinals fans rejoice — Deone Bucannon has returned to practice and should be ready to rock for Week 1 of the regular season.

It seems like it’s been a long time coming for the return of Arizona Cardinals linebacker Deone Bucannon. The wait is now over. Bucannon hit the practice field for the first time since his ankle surgery in the middle of May. He was put on injured reserve last December, starting and playing in only 13 games during the 2016 NFL season.

The return to the field is great news for everyone. Since coming into the league in 2014, Bucannon has been a force across the field for the Cardinals. He played the safety position for Washington State in college before making the move to a hybrid role in the pro’s spending most of his time at the inside linebacker position.

A 220-pound linebacker? It works in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s system. Bucannon has over 80 tackles in each of his three seasons. He also has five sacks and a pick-six to his name, too.

The plan is and always has been for Bucannon to be ready for the opener against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 10. Now with just nine days until the opener he’ll have to quickly get into shape to be ready.

While the news is great for fans and the organization, Bucannon’s return will ultimately put rookie linebacker Haason Reddick back to second string. Reddick has played good — not great — this preseason alongside veteran Karlos Dansby and others. The positive for Reddick and the Cardinals coaching staff to take away from the Summer is the fact that Reddick received a lot of quality reps against quality players.

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Expect Reddick’s role to shrink as Bucannon’s grows while he gets up to speed. Reddick should see snaps in what’s the final week of the 2017 preseason. Expect to see Bucannon suit back up Week 1 against Detroit.