Before Tuesday, Carson Palmer had never taken a practice off when he was healthy enough to participate, and he doesn't particularly like it.
The quarterback said the day-off plan was "set in stone months ago," for him to take every fourth or fifth practice off in camp. Coach Bruce Arians said it probably would have been the case for the 35-year-old Palmer even if he hadn't torn
"It was something I argued with for probably six weeks and then just gave up because I realized I was getting nowhere with it," Palmer said Wednesday. "I understand it, I get it, I'm not going to like it, but it is what it is."Now that it's over, Palmer said it probably does help.
"I won't admit that to them, but I understand what their thinking is," Palmer said. "You have to stay in your lane, leave medical decisions to the experts we have."
Palmer's velocity is excellent, his mechanics are solid and he acknowledged he's been sharp in camp not because of health or mechanics but simply because it is the third year in Arians' offense. His comfort level and understanding has never been higher.
His knee is not an issue – even after the scary Monday moment when Tyrann Mathieu caused Palmer to have his legs taken out from under him – and amazingly after his ACL tear and at his age, he feels great. Even better than he might have in training camp back in his early 20s.
"One reason, I'm too old to do what I used to do," Palmer said. "We had a golf course literally three minutes away in Cincinnati and between meetings we'd play four holes or eight holes or 11 holes and compete and bet, and there was a basketball court and we'd shoot baskets or play pool. Now I'm laid up, feet up resting and studying.
"I feel better. I shouldn't, but I feel better, because I was an idiot back then and doing way too much."