Arizona Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie reported to the Cardinals facility in Tempe on Tuesday to rehab his surgically repaired left knee and leg. He suffered a tear of the MCL ligament and fractured his left tibia in a Divisional Round loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Needless to say, the final three weeks of the 2009 season were not kind to DRC. First, he severely bruised his knee on the third play of a meaningless game against the Green Bay Packers in week 17. At the time, it was unknown whether Rodgers-Cromartie would play in the Wild Card game against the Packers the next week. Of course, he did play through the pain, managing to record an interception on the first play of the game after Karlos Dansby tipped an Aaron Rogers pass attempt.
The next week, however, the season ended for DRC a little earlier than for his teammates. The injury occurred when teammate Gabe Watson accidentally hit DRC while both were attempting to make a play.
The Cardinals training staff was relieved to learn that the injury was not an ACL tear, which would have been significantly more drastic. While the trainers were relieved, DRC lamented that he “still had to have surgery” and “[he] wasn’t happy.”
Despite his understandable frustration, Rodgers-Cromartie is optimistic that he will only be out “three to four months max.” In addition, he hopes the injuries will make him stronger when he returns. “They say you come back bigger and stronger and better,” DRC added, “so if I come back bigger and stronger and better, that’s a plus.” If his projected recovery time is correct, he will be able to participate in organized team activities this summer.