Arizona Cardinals Can Survive Without Carson Palmer


Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s victory over the St. Louis Rams

The Arizona Cardinals were trailing 14-10 when it happened.  The Cardinals were struggling to score points on offense.  The Rams defense didn’t look like they were about to let up.  Then quarterback Carson Palmer went down.  He was in pain.  A lot of pain.

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Eventually he was able to walk off the field on his own power but as he was doing so, he stopped and needed further assistance.  He had to be carted off to the locker room.  Forget the money he just got paid on Friday.  This is just bad timing as far as the season as concerned.  Now we wait for his MRI and confirm what many are fearing, a torn ACL.

Not there is any good time for a torn ACL, but in the midst of a run the Cardinals are on.  They won five in a row for the first time since 1974.  They are 8-1 for the first time since 1948.  It goes back to the saying the Cardinals have been using all season though, next man up.

Now it is Drew Stanton time.  Again.  He came in today and threw the huge 48-yard touchdown pass to receiver John Brown.  He knows the system. He knows Bruce Arians’ offense.   He proved it against the New York Giants.  He proved it against the San Francisco 49ers.  With some help from his defense and receivers, he could have proved it against Denver too.

The Cardinals can survive this.  They should be fine.  It won’t be easy by any stretch.  After all, there is a reason why Stanton was the backup and Palmer the starter.  That doesn’t mean Stanton can’t start.  How far he can help carry this team remains to be seen.

What will need to happen though in the last seven games is what happened in the fourth quarter today in the 31-14 victory over the Rams. The Cardinals need an opportunistic defense.  They got three turnovers today, all in the fourth quarter.  They still need to do what they were doing on offense.  Stanton did just that Sunday afternoon.

Don’t count the Cardinals out just yet.  I’ve already heard some people change their tune on the Cardinals already.  You won’t get that here.  They are 8-1.  You can’t argue 8-1 and without Stanton, they could be 5-4.  So yes, they can survive without Palmer.

The trick will be what if something happens to Stanton.  That question became reality in Denver.  Rookie quarterback Logan Thomas had to enter the game and it wasn’t pretty.  I won’t speculate on what they will do with Palmer’s roster spot should everyone’s fears become reality.  We can debate that later this week when everything becomes official.