Cardinals Mailbag: Denver Edition

Welcome to #CardsMailbag, a weekly installment that allows you to ask questions about the Arizona Cardinals throughout the week via Twitter @joshweinfuss. I'll answer them every weekend during the season. Make sure to use the hashtag #CardsMailbag.

@joshweinfuss: I think eventually he will, but it'll take a while. The progress Tyrann Mathieu has made so far has been promising but I don't think it's close to what the coaches had hoped for. Remember, this weekend was supposed to his return date. Among all the predictions, Bruce Arians kept talking about Oct. 1 as his target for Mathieu's return. I think the Honey Badger will eventually get back to his rookie form but it'll take a little while -- maybe even the whole year.

@joshweinfuss: I think after this season they'll consider all the possible options. I don't think it's a secret that New England could use Larry Fitzgerald. When the numbers are broken down, it's actually affordable for a team to sign him after a trade. Then the question becomes what can the New England Patriots offer the Cardinals? With 11 contracts expiring after this season, Arizona will have needs but can the Patriots fill them is what a potential trade will come down to.

@joshweinfuss: Give him time. I agree with you, Kareem Martin is not shedding linemen as well as he could but he told me last week that he's still small, meaning he can afford to bulk up this offseason. But he's quick and has the length to be a formidable pass rusher off the edge. It's just a matter of him adding weight this offseason. I don't think he'll emerge into the type of player the Cardinals hoped for this season and while Arizona could use it, Martin's the type of player who the Cards need for the future.

@joshweinfuss: It's not looking like it. On Friday, Bruce Arians said Marion Grice, who Arizona signed off San Diego's practice squad last week, still has to find a role on this team. He has a lot of growing to do, Arians said, mainly in areas that Arizona teaches its own technique. He'll eventually find a place, which is why the Cardinals poached him, but it'll take a few weeks if not a couple of months.

@joshweinfuss: Running back Andre Ellington still isn't 100 percent but he's as close to it as he's been this season. That hasn't stopped him, however, from having a productive season thus far. He almost ran for 100 yards once, coming up nine short against the New York Giants. Arizona averages 105 yards per game on the ground, the same amount as the Denver Broncos allow, so expect a good showing from Ellington.

@joshweinfuss: This is like starting to look at the playoff picture after a month. It's way too soon to think about, at least as far as outside options go. A lot can change between now and then that would make a team sour on someone. Internally, however, I think there are a few options. Defensive backs coach Nick Rapone comes to mind first because of his experience as a defensive coordinator at the University of Delaware. Arians can also go with someone like linebackers coach Mike Caldwell. Cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross may also be considered because of his experience as an assistant coach, his history with Arians and his close ties to Bowles.