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Cardinals Deal With Carson Palmer Pressure

Posted Nov 25, 2016

Notes: Floyd a game-day decision; Cards will see former teammate Freeney

Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer deals with pass-rush pressure last weekend in Minnesota.

Carson Palmer gets Wednesdays off to keep him fresh, so that on Sundays he is ready to play.

On Sundays, though, the Cardinals need to do more to make sure the punishment he takes isn’t too much to overcome with an extra day of rest during the week.

Palmer was under constant pressure in Minnesota last week, well above what he should’ve faced. It goes to the offensive line injury issues the Cardinals have and continue to have, and with six games left, it’s not unfair to worry about the cumulative effect.

“It’s always a concern,” coach Bruce Arians said. “Your quarterback gets hit 20 times. I don’t care if he’s 25 years old, if he gets hit 25 times during a game, he’s going to get hurt, sooner or later.”

The week started with both starting guards Mike Iupati (knee) and Earl Watford (shoulder) sitting out at least part of practice. They were back by Friday, at least on a limited basis. Still, both have struggled as the Cardinals have tried to solidify their offensive line the best they can.

“I felt bad for (Carson), from the standpoint of things we could’ve done better in my room,” Goodwin said. “There are times in protection when a guy is going to come free and hit him. We can’t avoid that. … But for the most part, we have to win the one-on-one battles.”

Palmer isn’t 25 but 36 (he turns 37 next month). He has been sacked 30 times already – with the Cards sacked 31 times total. Last season, Palmer was sacked 25 times all season, with the team total at 27.

“To be honest, I have no idea how many times I’ve been sacked in different years,” Palmer said. “I don’t keep track of that. I know 31 is a lot because that’s why you’re asking it, but 31, I don’t know if that’s a lot for a year or the league low. I don’t focus on that.”

Palmer shrugged off the idea he gets hit a lot – “This isn’t two-hand touch,” he said – and was matter-of-fact about the reality of the current offensive line.

“The one thing you want up front, for peace of mind with those guys, is continuity and experience next to each other,” Palmer said. “That’s out the door. That is not the situation.

“But whoever is in there, we’ve been banged up and guys are in and out and playing different positions, but whoever is in there, be ready to roll. I can’t wait until Sunday. Those guys can’t wait until Sunday.”

FLOYD A GAME-DAY DECISION; MANY QUESTIONABLE

Wide receiver Michael Floyd did not practice for a second straight day after tweaking his hamstring earlier this week. Arians said he’d be a game-day decision.

“He’s bounced back from more (in the past),” Arians said.

Watford was upgraded to full practice Friday but he is questionable, along with a host of others that were limited Friday: safety Christian Bryant (groin), wide receiver Brittan Golden (groin), safety Tyrann Mathieu (shoulder), defensive tackle Corey Peters (foot) and defensive tackle Ed Stinson (hip).

For the Falcons, cornerback Desmond Trufant (shoulder) and punter Matt Bosher (hamstring) are listed as questionable.

A CHANCE FOR FREENEY TO SAY HELLO

When Dwight Freeney was signed after the season started in 2015 – he arrived when the team spent their week in West Virginia – he ended up with a locker not with the linebackers or defensive linemen but an empty stall next to Palmer.

Now, Palmer will get a chance to reunite with his neighbor – although he’d rather it be before or after a play, and not during.

“Looking forward to seeing him,” Palmer said. “Hopefully not seeing too much of him.”

Freeney, who has three sacks this season, told atlantafalcons.com he understands the Cardinals have had injuries on the offensive line.

“But they’re going to still go out and try to execute their game plan,” Freeney said. “They’re going to come up here with a good plan. By no means are they, I think, a 4-5-1 team. I think they’re better than that.”

Palmer said he spent part of last season “busting his chops” next to him and having the conversations longtime NFL veterans do. He called Freeney a Hall of Famer who is still going.

“We get a scouting report, and he ran a 4.46 coming out of the Combine, which I can’t believe he never told me that all of last year,” Palmer said. “Multiple times.”

BUNDY PROMOTED FROM PRACTICE SQUAD

The Cardinals made a roster move Friday, promoting wide receiver Marquis Bundy from the practice squad. To make room, the Cards cut wide receiver Chris Hubert.

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