Carson Palmer got an unfortunate injury update on Sunday, with word that the Arizona Cardinals quarterback is in the league-mandated concussion protocol after leaving his team’s game and likely won’t be able to return in time for Thursday night’s contest.
Palmer was hurt after being sacked in the fourth quarter of his team’s 17-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Palmer immediately went off the field after a hard hit from Aaron Donald and was examined for a concussion on the sidelines, then went back to the locker room, NFL reported.
DEVELOPING: Cardinals QB Carson Palmer is being evaluated for concussion. Drew Stanton in at QB for Arizona. pic.twitter.com/S76J4YTkh2
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 2, 2016
Veteran Drew Stanton came on in relief of Palmer, but the Rams were able to make a late rally to win the game thanks in large part to two interceptions from Stanton.
The loss was a major one for the Arizona Cardinals, who fell to 1-3 after the loss. After coming into the season as a Super Bowl contender, the Cardinals have stumbled to start the year and find themselves at the bottom of the NFC looking up.
Now, it looks as if the Arizona Cardinals could be headed to an even deeper hole as Carson Palmer’s injury is expected to keep him out of Thursday night’s game. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported after Sunday’s loss that the Cardinals aren’t taking any chances in rushing him back, which likely means he misses the next game.
And Carson Palmer may not be able to be back in time even if his recovery does move along smoothly. Because of the mandated steps in the league’s concussion protocol, Palmer may not be approved to return to the field in time thanks to the team’s abbreviated week.
The 36-year-old Palmer helped the Arizona Cardinals become one of the most surprising teams of the last few years, a 2015 NFC Championship Game participant that many saw as a strong pick to win the NFC West this season. But Palmer has faltered this season along with his team, with a poor showing last week against the Buffalo Bills and a more average performance on Sunday.
Cardinals will be "very, very careful" with Carson Palmer https://t.co/lP41GqiMzy
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 3, 2016
At the time of his injury, Palmer had completed 23 of his 36 passes for 288 yards along with a touchdown and interception.
As Yahoo Sports noted, the future for the Arizona Cardinals is uncertain even aside from Carson Palmer’s injury.
“Even if Palmer is fine to play next week, he’ll be coming back to a situation the Cardinals never expected to find themselves in.”
“The Cardinals have lost two home games already, and aside from an explosion against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2, their offense hasn’t looked anything like it did last season. There have been way too many turnovers, and opponents are taking away the big pass plays that are a staple of Bruce Arians’ offense. And after a terrible NFC championship game performance, Palmer’s struggles have continued into this season.”
Even though the season is only a quarter of the way through, the Cardinals may have what amounts to a must-win game on Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers. The Cardinals and 49ers are tied for last place in the NFC West, and the loser will be in what appears to be an insurmountable 1-4 hole and likely no playoffs in sight.
If the Cardinals can weather Palmer’s injury, the quarterback could have a bit of extra time to heal. Arizona plays on Monday Night Football in Week 6, which would give him a total of 15 days to recover.
The Arizona Cardinals are expected to make a more formal update on Carson Palmer’s injury on Monday, but with the short week, it may not be a good outlook for the quarterback to play on Thursday.
[Featured Image by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images]