Carson Palmer is back for the 2017 season, releasing a statement about it Thursday. Friday, Palmer called into the "Rich Eisen Show" to talk a little bit about his decision to return, with little surprise -- he's an older guy, and he needed to make sure his body would hold up. He feels it will.
"I love playing the game, love everything about it, but at some point, your body tells you when to stop and (when) the season ended, I just went into Steve Keim and Bruce Arians and asked them if I could take a month and make sure my body would get back to 100 percent," said Palmer, who will turn 38 in December. "I took the month, my body has recovered well, feel great, feel ready to start getting ready in the offseason again. It was never about anything other than my body. My mind, my passion, all the things it takes to play this game, I still have. The desire to study, the desire to train, the desire to get ready for games.
"You start getting old like me, you start getting grey hair, your body starts telling you no. At some point it will, but I am excited I have responded, my body responded, and I get to keep playing."
(There seems to be this perception Palmer is fragile, but he hasn't been in Arizona. Yes, he missed 10 games in 2014, most of which because he tore his ACL. Otherwise, in Palmer's other three Cardinals seasons, Palmer has played in 47 of 48 games, missing only one in 2016 because of a concussion.)
Palmer wasn't talking about beyond 2017, one way or the other -- "At this point in my career, it's a one-year-at-a-time-type of deal," he said, not closing the door on playing in 2018 but obviously waiting for his body's input when we get to that point as well. He did note that, starting around age 34 or 35, it takes longer to recover each week.
"The older you get, the later on in the week you start feeling better," Palmer said. "Sometimes it takes up until Thursday, Friday to recover from the previous Sunday be ready to play the next Sunday."
It makes a lot of sense that Palmer stopped practicing on Wednesdays this past season. That certainly should continue this year (Larry Fitzgerald also figures to have Wednesday rest days again too.)
But Palmer returns. He joked about tendinitis in left hand from changing the diapers of his infant at home the past month -- another reason to think about football again. "The offseason is pretty short but retirement is really long," Palmer said.