Quarterback Carson Palmer, post-surgery to fix a broken left arm, watches the Cards-Seahawks game Thursday night.
Carson Palmer said he thinks "every second of every day" about trying to come back and play this season for the Cardinals.
The quarterback, speaking publicly Saturday for the first time since he broke his left arm against the Rams in London Oct. 22, said he has talked to running backs David Johnson and T.J. Logan about having a casted arm and dealing with the loss of muscle and hand strength.
The idea is that he could return from injured reserve, although the earliest he could play would be the Dec. 24 home game against the Giants.
"I could potentially be available the last two weeks of the season," Palmer said during an autograph appearance at the Cox Communications Store at Tempe Marketplace. "Who knows? I don't know where I'll be (with rehab) at that point. I don't know where we will be as a team at that point. I just try to be as ready as I can as quick as I can."
The uncertainty stretches to his future and the 2018 season as well. Palmer is under contract for
next season, although retirement could be an option.
"I haven't even gotten there yet," Palmer said. "Just as far as what I've been doing the last couple of weeks, I've had numerous doctors appointments, tried on different braces and casts. That's what my mindset has been. I'll have a chance to think about what is next as far as 2018 and all that once we get through this year."
Palmer's contract runs through 2018. He is due $12.5 million in salary next year with a $1.5M roster bonus, both of which are guaranteed five days after the Super Bowl.
This season, Palmer has completed 164-of-267 passes for 1,978 yards, nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. His passing rating is 84.4, but 91.3 after the opener, when he threw three of the picks. His injury not only was a major blow to the offense but was just one of several major injuries to crucial offensive pieces this season.
"Anybody's first reaction is just frustration," Palmer said. "When your season is cut short and you put so much into it, when you start training in March and it ends in October, it's obviously frustrating. But you continue to try and help in any way you can and be a part of the team even though you feel like you really can't contribute."
That included Friday, when Palmer – who had already been talking to linebacker Markus Golden after Golden's ACL tear – talked with safety Tyvon Branch and left tackle D.J. Humphries after their serious knee injuries suffered Thursday against the Seahawks.
"In those small ways I'm trying to help guys get their mind around how serious and how big of a hurdle it is," Palmer said. "I'm trying to be a resource."
The quarterback news got worse for the Cardinals Saturday when multiple reports said Palmer fill-in Drew Stanton!(/team/roster/drew-stanton/34efba6d-6b54-4c63-8d4a-5971c83a0a62/ "Drew Stanton") hurt his knee against the Seahawks and he could miss the Cards' next game in Houston. If that happened, Blaine Gabbert would start.
Palmer's absence didn't bother the fans at the Cox store Saturday, many of whom wished Palmer a speedy recovery as they got an autograph or photo. But Palmer's rehab likely will only be one factor in a return from IR, along with the Cardinals' record.
"I don't know what's ahead," Palmer said. "As cliché as it is you take it one game at a time, one week at a time."