Steve Wilks' plan to strengthen the Arizona Cardinals' offensive line suffered a blow when Wilks announced on Monday that starting center A.Q. Shipley will miss the entire season after suffering a torn anterior-cruciate ligament.
Shipley, 32, suffered the injury Saturday and will undergo surgery. He will be placed on injured reserve.
"It's a very unfortunate situation for him and the team," Wilks, the Cardinals head coach, said, according to USA Today. "As I mentioned a couple days ago, he's a tremendous leader, a hard worker and when you talk about the DNA I look for, the love of the game, very passionate and gritty, he really was a leader up front. It's going to be an opportunity for other guys to step up at this particular time, particularly Mason Cole."
Shipley started all 16 games each of the past two years, and he was the only member of the starting offensive line who did not miss games because of injury last season.
Shipley is scheduled to make $2 million this season in the final year of his two-year deal with the Cardinals.
Cole, the Cardinals' third-round draft pick out of Michigan, is expected to take over Shipley's starting role. Cole has started 104 consecutive games since the start of his high school career in Tarpon Springs, Fla.