Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the Cardinals' picks: Round 3/69 - Tyrann Mathieu, FS, 5-9, 186, Louisiana State...The Cardinals gambled here. Mathieu has a history of troubles, mostly with marijuana. The Cardinals think Mathieu is sincere about changing his life, and they expect his former LSU teammate, Patrick Peterson, to be a mentor. Mathieu will start his NFL career as a free safety. He doesn't have ideal speed for cornerback, and playing safety will give him a chance to roam the field and make plays on the ball, his strength. He also will return punts, along with Peterson. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I couldn't think of a better team to go to. I spent so much time out there with Patrick, that became sort of like my second home. The whole time, I was telling myself, 'don't cry.' I know I'm on the right track." -- Defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. - The Sports Xchange
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12/29/14 - S Tyrann Mathieu has been average since returning two weeks ago from a fractured thumb, coach Bruce Arians said. Mathieu is playing with a large cast on his lower arm, and it hinders his tackling ability. But his biggest mistake was a mental error. He and cornerback Antonio Cromartie had a miscommunication that allowed 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin to catch a slant for a 76-yard touchdown.
12/22/14 - S Tyrann Mathieu returned after missing a game with a fractured thumb. He wore a large cast and had trouble grabbing when tackling.
12/17/14 - FS Tyrann Mathieu is expected to be available to play this week after missing a game due to a fractured thumb.
12/12/14 - S Tyrann Mathieu (thumb) is out of Sunday's game.
12/08/14 - S Tyrann Mathieu missed the game after suffering a fractured thumb in Atlanta. Mathieu hopes to return to play against Seattle on Dec. 21.
12/05/14 - S Tyrann Mathieu (thumb) is out of Sunday's game.
12/03/14 - S Tyrann Mathieu underwent surgery Wednesday morning to repair a fractured and dislocated left thumb. He is expected to miss at least two games. Tony Jefferson will replace him in the starting lineup.
12/01/14 - S Tyrann Mathieu might have suffered a fractured left thumb while making a tackle in the second quarter. If the injury requires surgery, Mathieu will miss three weeks. If it doesn't, he will try to play with a cast.
11/30/14 - CB Tyrann Mathieu broke his left thumb in the first half against the Falcons and did not return. His thumb was in a cast after the game.
09/22/14 - S Tyrann Mathieu has played in the past two games, but he doesn't look like himself. He has been tentative, which is understandable since he had two torn knee ligaments repaired last December.
"He was way too apprehensive and afraid he was going to cost us," Arians said. "You could tell by the look in his eye. We had a little talk right before the kickoff of the second half about letting it go."
Easier said than done, said Mathieu, who estimated he is a couple of weeks away from being the player he wants to be.
"Hopefully, I'll be who I want to be when we really need me to be," he said.