Arizona Cardinals health a huge reason for optimism


The Arizona Cardinals quarterback situation much better than 2014

The Arizona Cardinals at this time last season were 9-1 going into week 11 on the way to 9-2 and eventually 11-5 and a Wild-Card playoff loss.  Much of that had to do with the health of the quarterback position.  The Cardinals were now without starter Carson Palmer and eventually lost backup Drew Stanton as well.

This year the Cardinals have a healthy Palmer and a healthy Stanton backing him up.  Now the Cardinals look at many other teams in the NFL and see what they experienced last season.  There is optimism in the air for the Cardinals chances to win in 2015.

Palmer has only exited two games this season early and they were both because the Cardinals were comfortably in front of the opposition.  That’s when you like seeing Palmer on the sidelines.  Last year by now Palmer was done for the season with his ACL tear.

There are so many other teams now struggling at quarterback because of injury or ineffectiveness.  It gives Cardinals fans hope that the road to the playoffs and beyond could be a lot bumpier for others than the Cardinals.

Look at the NFC quarterbacks alone:

Philadelphia Eagles: Starter Sam Bradford reportedly has a separated shoulder.  It’s bad enough that backup Mark Sanchez must start this week.

Dallas Cowboys: Starter Tony Romo returns this week after missing the past eight weeks.  The Cowboys didn’t win a single game in his absence.

St. Louis Rams: Nick Foles has been replaced as starter, giving way to Case Keenum.

San Francisco 49ers: Colin Kaepernick got himself put on season-ending injured reserve on Saturday after telling the team he was opting for season-ending surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.  He gave up on his team and now they are stuck with Blaine Gabbert the rest of the season.

If Palmer stays healthy the rest of the way, there is no reason not to believe the Cardinals will be in the thick of things in the chase for Super Bowl 50.  If Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton remain healthy they remain the biggest challenges for Palmer and the Cardinals.

Tonight Palmer goes up against his former team the Cincinnati Bengals.  It is not just another game for Palmer.  For the rest of us, we can just hope he comes out of the game unscathed.