Arizona Cardinals Worst-Case Scenario: Carson Palmer
By Jeremy Meek
If Carson Palmer becomes injured, it probably means the season is over for the Arizona Cardinals
There is no bigger nightmare for an NFL team than a serious injury to the starting quarterback. Rarely is a team able to recover from such a devastating loss, even with a quality backup. The Arizona Cardinals are no different.
Carson Palmer enters his 14th NFL season in 2017, and his 5th in Arizona. In his four years with the Cardinals, he has compiled a very nice 35-17-1 record as a starter. This, despite a 2016 season that saw him struggle throughout. His numbers were down, and the team finished under .500 and out of the playoffs.
There is optimism going into the new season. With David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, Palmer has two great weapons to work with, and the rest of the receiving corps, which suffered through injuries last year, returns healthy. They also added a talented receiver in Chad Williams.
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Things could definitely get better next season for Palmer and the Cardinals. However, if Palmer gets hurt, then things don’t look so good.
Drew Stanton has been the team’s backup for quite some time, and he actually has a 6-3 record as a starter for the Cardinals. His numbers, though, show that he might have had some luck along the way. In Arizona, he’s completed just 52% of his passes, with 9 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Competing for the backup job is newly acquired Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert has largely been a bust since being drafted 10th overall in the 2011 draft. He has a career passer rating of 71.5, displaying an erratic arm, and a lack of ability under pressure. His record as a starter is a terrifying 9-31.
Palmer is 37 years old, and has missed time with injury at various points in his career. The Cardinals are looking at the coming year as a chance at redemption for 2016. If Palmer is seriously injured, and again misses time, chances are, the 2017 season, like last season, won’t have a happy ending.