Earl Thomas expected to be back for Week 1

Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas underwent left shoulder surgery on Tuesday, but is expected to recover in time for the 2015 season opener, according to NFL Network Ian Rapoport.

Thomas, 25, tore his labrum — a ring of fibrocartilage around the edge of the joint surface — in the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers, which caused his shoulder to dislocate. He played the rest of the game with a shoulder harness and did the same in the Super Bowl, finishing with eight tackles against the New England Patriots.

The Cardinals cleared some serious cap room with Fitzgerald’s restructure and didn’t necessarily need the cap room, but Dockett will be 34 when the 2015 season gets underway, and he’s coming off an ACL injury that forced him out of last season. Frostee Rucker, Tommy Kelly and other players filled in well along the defensive line, and the defense was definitely the strength of the Cardinals last season.

Dockett has been with the Cardinals since 2004, when he was drafted the same year as Fitzgerald. He’s been a leader and a force on that defense for a long time, and will certainly be able to find a new team for 2015. That said, the Cardinals team website says that “the veteran defensive lineman could still come back, however.” In other words, the Cardinals want Dockett back — and have been adamant that they want him to retire in Arizona — but only after he finds the market isn’t as strong for him as he might think.

The team will have to assess what they have in their backfield, and then decide if they need to continue investing in running back or rely on C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball.

“I think it fits great,” for C.J. Anderson, said Elway. “I think we saw what C.J. could do last year, especially halfway on through the end of the year. He came in and had a tremendous year for us. He’s a one-cut guy and he’s a north and south runner. That’s what style of an offense this is. I think C.J. will be a perfect fit for it so I’m thrilled we still have him.”

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