Quarterback Carson Palmer goes through an agility drill Thursday, but his bad shoulder kept him out of practice yet again.
Calling his trip to another specialist Wednesday a "turn-over-every-stone kind of deal," Carson Palmer said he got no new feedback on the nerve problem in his throwing shoulder and was given the same information – that at some point, his nerve will "wake up" but it's impossible to know exactly when.
Palmer said he was told yet again there is no structural damage to his right shoulder, surgery is not needed and the problem is not career-ending or even season-ending.
"That was all positive," Palmer said Thursday. "We'll just continue with the rehab we've been doing with our guys and see if this thing will
wake back up."
Of course, that still means he was sidelined Thursday at practice. He took part in the quarterback agility drills during the special teams period, but he did not throw at all in that time and officially sat out.
The Cardinals and Palmer's rehab crew have called doctors around the country trying to find answers, Palmer said. He has met with a nerve specialist, a neck specialist and a spine specialist since getting hurt. Palmer added the doctor he met with Wednesday told him it was a "one in 100,000 chance" that he would hit the nerve where he did to cause his problem.
"One of the things I have learned is that nerves are very finicky and very unpredictable," Palmer said.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed all of 2011 with a nerve issue in his neck (with multiple surgeries), said he hadn't talked to Palmer but added he'd help in whatever way he could if Palmer wanted.
Palmer threw a bunch at the end of last week but acknowledged he was only throwing at about 20 percent velocity, and then felt the shoulder begin to give him problems at the end of his final bye week workout.
Acknowledging his frustration, Palmer said he remains engaged, going through the agility drills and staying in tune during meetings and practice in case tomorrow brings the health he seeks. If not, he said he wants to continue to push the quarterbacks and receivers so the offense plays at a high level.
"I'm a glass-is-half-full kind of guy," Palmer said. "I believe everything happens for a reason and there is a plan behind this."
Coach Bruce Arians had already said Palmer would need at least a day-and-a-half of throwing to be ready to play Sunday. It seems unlikely Palmer would be ready to practice by Friday, but no doors have been closed yet.
Palmer said he will continue with the protocol set down by doctors and head athletic trainer Tom Reed, and stay optimistic.
"You have to push it," Palmer said. "You can't just sit back and cross your fingers and pray and hope."
FANAIKA DOWNGRADED, PUTTING COOPER ON DECK
Starting right guard Paul Fanaika (knee) was downgraded to DNP Thursday, meaning Jonathan Cooper could be in line to start Sunday in
Denver. Initially, Cooper – who went into training camp as the starting left guard before injuries and struggling play sent him to the bench – would have gone to left guard with starter Ted Larsen sliding to right guard. But Cooper has been getting work at right guard as well.
"Coop has played a little right, a little left, so no big deal," offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. "We should be set either way."
Linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) was upgraded to full practice Thursday, although defensive coordinator Todd Bowles wasn't ready to say Okafor is ready to jump in and make an immediate impact. Running back Andre Ellington (foot), punter Dave Zastudil (groin) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (calf) remained limited.
For the Broncos, safety David Bruton (ankle) was upgraded to limited. Guard Louis Vasquez (ribs) and linebacker Lerentee McCray (knee) remain limited as well.
NO OFFENSIVE WORRIES
The Broncos have a very good offense, and Goodwin was asked a couple of times about his unit having to score more to keep up on Sunday. In both cases, Goodwin didn't hesitate.
"I love my defense," Goodwin said the first time.
Someone tried Goodwin again to get a different answer. It worked. Kind of.
"I trust my defense," he said.
The Cardinals practice in preparation of a game against the Broncos