Karlos Dansby will turn 32 on Sunday. To celebrate, the NFL gave him two presents.

The first was a drug test that Dansby joked he knew was coming.

"They say it's random," Dansby said with that infectious smile and drawl, "but I see what happens when you have some big games in this league. You're going to show up on that list."

The second was a day off. The Cardinals have their bye week, and the break is overdue for Dansby. After eight games, he has played more defensive snaps than any player on the roster except cornerback Patrick Peterson, who is nine years younger.

Dansby missed four snaps against the 49ers in Week 6. Other than that, he's been on the field for every snap opposing offenses have taken.

"That was my expectation when I got here," Dansby shrugged. "That was my role before I left here (in 2010) and that was my role when I got to Miami. I never get off the field. I go all day."

It isn't out of necessity that the Cardinals play Dansby so much. They've got pretty good depth behind him and Daryl Washington at inside linebacker in Jasper Brinkley and rookie run-stuffer Kevin Minter. But Dansby has played so well and has developed such good chemistry with Washington since Washington's return from a four-game suspension that the coaching staff just doesn't want to take them off the field.

"It's exactly what we'd hoped -- to have two playmakers on the field that can do multiple different things," said coach Bruce Arians, who got a whiff of what was possible in offseason and preseason workouts. "When they were in there it was like, 'Whoof, this could be special.'"

Dansby leads the team in tackles with 71 (69 solos) and has three sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and 10 passes defensed.

Though he says the mike linebacker position was brand new to him, he also believes it suits him.