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Carson Palmer's Performance Brings Hope

Notes: QB played "lights out" against Dallas; Iupati, Humphries expect to play; 49ers to demonstrate


Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer had his best game of the season against the Cowboys on Monday night.

A team that has a quarterback has a chance.

The Cardinals have a host of problems on offense, from protection to injuries to an anemic running game, but Carson Palmer bounced back in a big way on Monday night against the Cowboys, allowing for hope that better times are ahead.

"I don't think our quarterback could have played any better," coach Bruce Arians said on Tuesday after watching the tape. "He was lights out from start to finish. Even getting hit that many times, he moved his feet great. He was around the pocket. He was the quarterback I knew we'd see all year, and we can win with Carson playing like that."

Palmer finished the game 29-of-48 passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns despite getting sacked six times and regularly pressured. He didn't throw an interception after tossing four in the first two games, which led Arians to go on SiriusXM NFL Radio and proclaim the latest version of Palmer "the best I've seen him in about two or three years."

That statement may be hyperbolic considering Palmer was second in the MVP voting in 2015, but the turnaround was critical, and that type of performance is something a 1-2 Cardinals team needs again Sunday against the 49ers.

"That's the way I've seen him practice the whole time," Arians said. "He's practiced extremely well, and from the start to the finish, that's what I would anticipate to see the rest of the season."

Palmer, who is famously even-keeled, did not puff his chest Wednesday. He said he was more concerned with losing by double-digits to the Cowboys than his play.

"I'm not focused on myself whatsoever," Palmer said. "I'm focused on execution. I think back to the last game and down there at the end of the game, I could have executed better and gotten it closer and given us a better chance. That part's frustrating, and when you're frustrated like that, it's hard to think about anything else."


Left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) and left guard Mike Iupati (triceps) were limited in practice on Wednesday and both said they are confident they will return to the lineup against the 49ers after missing two games.

Arians was still tempering his enthusiasm.

"I'll be more encouraged when we see them (Thursday)," Arians said. "The fact that they're allowed to practice doesn't mean they're back in football shape. You know what I mean? You miss three weeks, and the game's really fast, and this is one heck of a defensive line."

Others limited were wide receiver John Brown (quad), tight end Jermaine Gresham (ribs), wide receiver J.J. Nelson (hamstring), tackle John Wetzel (biceps) and linebacker Chandler Jones (chest).

Money linebacker Deone Bucannon practiced in full, which should put him on track to make his season debut against the 49ers. Guard Alex Boone (chest) didn't practice.

For the 49ers, linebacker Reuben Foster (ankle), safety Eric Reid (knee) and tackle Joe Staley (not injury related) did not practice. Running back Carlos Hyde (hip), fullback Kyle Juszczyk (concussion), safety Jaquiski Tartt (concussion) and linebacker Brock Coyle (concussion) were limited.


San Francisco played on Thursday night in Week 3, a day before President Donald Trump's comments about firing players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

The Cardinals locked arms as a sign of unity on Monday night in response to those remarks, and the 49ers plan on doing some sort of demonstration Sunday in their first game since the controversy, coach Kyle Shanahan said. Shanahan said he has helped facilitate the discussion and will support whatever decision is made, but the players will decide how to respond.

"I know our guys are going to come up with something to do as a team," Shanahan said. "I don't think we've fully decided yet, but I'm sure just like (the Cardinals) did on Monday night -- we haven't had that opportunity yet -- but I'm sure we'll do something."


Right tackle Jared Veldheer has been criticized for his poor start to the season. Palmer has been teammates with him dating back to their days in Oakland together, and believes improvement is coming.

"I've got as much respect and trust in Jared as I've had in any offensive lineman I've ever played with, and I've played with Jared for six years," Palmer said. "He was protecting my blind side for a long time, and now he's on the other side. I talked to him today. … The way he works, the way he prepares, I just know he'll bounce back, and I have faith in him."

Images of the Cardinals cheerleaders at the 2017 home opener against the Cowboys

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