Quarterback Drew Stanton looks downfield to throw a pass during Sunday's game in New York.
Mentally, Drew Stanton acknowledged, he was probably getting prepared to play more than normal as the Cardinals flew to New York last week, just as he had done prior to the Cardinals' home game against the Rams in 2013.
In that game, Carson Palmer – who hadn't thrown a pass in practice all week because of a bad elbow – still played, and completed 27 of 32 throws in a blowout win. Sunday, of course, the nerve problem in Palmer' right shoulder hadn't eased, and Stanton played.
Stanton directed the Cardinals to the win. It's a mystery at this point whether he will have to step in again in the upcoming home game against the 49ers. Monday, there were no timetables for Palmer's return to action, and Stanton will live with that limbo.
"Carson is going to play if he can," Stanton said the day after his first start since 2010. "He prides himself on playing games and
playing season-long. Once he is ready to go it'll be back to the bench for me and helping him in any way possible."
When will he be ready is the question of the week.
"Hopefully any minute it starts working," Palmer said Monday. "We'll see."
It was not better Monday, however. Coach Bruce Arians said if Palmer is healthy – even if he cannot practice all week – he will play. Arians acknowledged a concern with it being a nerve in the shoulder, especially after seeing how a nerve problem derailed Peyton Manning for such a long time.
"But (Peyton's) was after neck surgery," Arians said. "This is just a bruised nerve that's being ornery."
"We're doing every kind of research we possibly can," Arians added. "He's getting every kind of treatment known to man. He's got more needles sticking in him half the day than most of us in our lifetime."
In the meantime, Arians is fine with turning again to Stanton. The coach loves the confidence and "guts" of his backup, and said he felt Stanton played better than his statistics – 14 for 29 for 167 yards – would indicate.
"You've been hearing me talk about it, but you have to see it to believe it," Arians said. "And, he can play much better. I think he was
a little careful at times. Threw some balls early because he was playing fast in his mind and the receivers weren't quite there yet. He can play better, especially in the red zone."
Stanton said his approach weekly hasn't changed in a few years. He's learned from guys like Shaun Hill in the past how to be a backup, and he doesn't want to deviate from how he prepares, regardless of how Palmer is feeling.
He understands his role, reiterating he knew when he signed with the Cardinals they were going to acquire another quarterback – which turned out to be Palmer – and said being a reserve is easier because he has such a good relationship with Palmer.
After Sunday's game, Palmer talked about how fired up he was to see Stanton win the game. Stanton said he always wants to contribute in some regard. With Palmer ailing, this just happens to be the avenue for now.
"You try and find ways to help the team when you are not on the field," Stanton said. "And then when you do get that opportunity, it's gratifying knowing you were out there to help the team win.
"Last year we missed out on the playoffs by one win. I didn't want to look back and think, 'Gosh, I started that game and we lost.' I would hate to have that feeling."
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