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Cardinals' Mathieu still getting into game shape

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu still isn't ready to play after tearing his ACL last December.

Mathieu was in the midst of the best season of his career prior to the season-ending injury.

The standout defensive back recently returned to practice, but said he's not close to his top form.

"I wouldn't say I'm ready to actually play a full game but just to come out here and practice, get some reps, break on some balls, get my hands on some balls, it's a good feeling. I put a lot of work into it and still feel like I got a ways to go before I get to the level I know I'm capable of playing at," Mathieu said, according to ESPN's Josh Weinfuss.

Mathieu wants to avoid rushing back to action ahead of the upcoming season.

"You just want to be smart about it, obviously," Mathieu said. "Your passion tends to override being mindful of where you're at in your recovery. As long as I stay mindful of that, as long as the people around me are mindful of that, I think I'll be all right."

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