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Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett tore ACL, out for season

Arizona Cardinals' Darnell Dockett talks with fans during NFL football training camp in Glendale, Ariz., Saturday, July 26, 2014
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Arizona Cardinals' Darnell Dockett talks with fans during NFL football training camp in Glendale, Ariz., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Cheryl Evans)

The Arizona Cardinals defense took another huge blow. Star defensive tackle Darnell Dockett suffered a torn ACL, a team spokesman confirmed via Twitter.

Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo first reported the news of the devastating injury.

In an offseason in which the team watched linebacker Karlos Dansby leave via free agency, linebacker Daryl Washington incur to a year-long suspension, linebacker John Abraham get arrested for a DUI and defensive back Tyrann Mathieu slow to return from a torn ACL, losing Dockett was about the worst news this unit could receive.

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Dockett suffered the injury in practice on Monday during 11-on-11 work. The three-time Pro Bowl player has been a workhorse through his career, missing only two games — one in 2010, one in 2012, both with injuries — over his 10-year career. 

There is no player on the roster capable of replacing what Dockett did. Pro Bowl left end Calais Campbell and former first-round pick Dan Williams will be asked to anchor the Cardinals' 3-man front. Frostee Rucker, the former Bengal, will have a chance to start. So will two rookies, third-round pick Kareem Martin and fifth-rounder Ed Stinson.

Stinson leads the Cardinals' defensive linemen in snaps this preseason and has opened eyes with his run-stopping ability. It would not be surprising to see both first-year players help fill that role, even if Rucker is the de facto starter.

But none of them can replicate Dockett's pass-rush ability. Per Pro Football Focus, Dockett registered 4.5 sacks, 13 quarterback hits and 22 hurries. Over 10 seasons, Dockett has totaled 40.5 sacks — a solid number for a predominantly interior player — and seven forced fumbles.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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