Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Carson Palmer was back on the field 167 days after suffering a season ending knee injury. Palmer made all of the throws he is accustom to and did not appear too worried about the stylish brace he had on his left knee. After the workout was completed Palmer was of course asked how he feels about the injury and the up coming season. “I’m so excited about OTAs, mini-camp, training camp, New Orleans coming here (to open the regular season), going to Chicago — you start thinking of all these things,” Palmer said. “I have to fight that. That’s a hurdle for me, personally. I’ve got to fight that. It’s one day at a time, one rep at a time. I’m not looking past anything.”
The Cardinals will go as far as Palmer can lead them, and having him back ahead of schedule is a good sign for the 2015 season. The confidence that breeds from his presence from the entire team, in particular the receiving core led by veteran Larry Fitzgerald. The wide outs were very much in sync as much as you could be in shorts and without defense.
Palmer gets a bad rap nationwide as being only a mediocre quarterback, but the fans here in the Valley are singing a different tune, and see Palmer just as important to his team as Tom Brady is to his. That’s based on importance to the team, no one is comparing him to Tom Brady as a quarterback.
There were many “ifs” when looking back on last year’s season, and leading the way was where the Cardinals could have been had Palmer not gotten hurt. One thing is for certain, he would have probably won the playoff game against that horrible Carolina Panthers team. Although, if Palmer had been healthy perhaps the Cards would have been the number one seed.
Down the stretch of the season after the week ten Palmer injury at home against the Rams, the Cardinals finished 3-4 with losses to the Falcons, 49ers, and twice to the Seahawks. If Palmer had been healthy that record could have easily been a 5-2 finish, and would have yielded them the number one seed at 13-3 and a bye week in round one. Could they have been the first team to make an appearance in a Super Bowl in their own building? No one knows, but having their starting quarterback would have increased their chances.
Now that the draft has concluded and the team has added some more beef to sure up their offensive line, the chances of keeping Palmer healthy has just been increased. Keeping him up right is critical to this team’s success, without him the Cardinals do not come up to the level of the division leading Seattle Seahawks.
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