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Slow Progress For Carson Palmer

Notebook: Cromartie knows Peyton; Fanaika sits while Johnson's hand takes another hit

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Cornerback Antonio Cromartie performs during a tackling drill Monday as coaching assistant Anthony Blevins helps out.

Carson Palmer's return to action against the Broncos on Sunday may not be a slam dunk.

While the Cardinals were encouraged after he threw passes last Wednesday before the bye week, the veteran quarterback's shoulder injury did not progress as well as hoped over the weekend.

"I was hoping to be throwing more than I am," Palmer said. "It's slowly improving. Nothing ever improves as fast as you want it

to. I'll just continue to stay on what I have been doing and hopefully it continues to progress."

Palmer has missed the past two games after he hit the shoulder on the ground in the season-opening victory over the Chargers, which resulted in a nerve issue. He finished the game but hasn't done much throwing since.

Drew Stanton has gone 2-0 in his stead, completing 32-of-62 passes for 411 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in victories over the Giants and 49ers. Palmer has praised the job done by Stanton but hopes to return to action quickly.

"I'm always optimistic," Palmer said. "I wish I could predict the future. I wish I knew exactly what was going to happen. Just have to continue to do the rehab, it continues to progress and hopefully there are no bumps in the road."

The players have Tuesday off, and coach Bruce Arians said the practices on Wednesday and Thursday are crucial to determine the likelihood of Palmer playing in Denver. When asked if he had a gut feeling on if Palmer will start, Arians said, "I quit trusting my gut a long time ago."

CROMARTIE AND GETTING THE BEST OF PEYTON MANNING

Very few cornerbacks can gloat about a performance against future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, but Cardinals veteran Antonio Cromartie shined brightly against him during a game in 2007.

Cromartie picked off Manning three times as a member of the Chargers, helping key a 23-21 victory over the reigning Super Bowl champion Colts. When reminded of it on Monday, Cromartie laughed it off.

"That's a long time ago," he said.

Despite that stellar day, Cromartie knows there is no secret formula to shutting down Manning, even now that he's in the twilight of his career.

"Nothing has changed," Cromartie said. "He's still Peyton. Still trying to make the right throws, still having the pinpoint passing. And that's all you can ask for from a quarterback."

Cromartie practiced Monday after taking it slowly last week following a knee bruise which knocked him out of the game against the 49ers. He said he feels 100 percent and will be ready to go against Denver.

FANAIKA MISSES PRACTICE; RASHAD JOHNSON HURTS ANOTHER DIGIT

Starting guard Paul Fanaika was the only player to miss practice on Monday as the Cardinals healed up over the bye week. Arians expects him back Wednesday. If Fanaika is out a more extended period of time, Jonathan Cooper would slide in at left guard and Ted Larsen would take Fanaika's spot on the right side.

Cooper, the Cardinals' first-round pick in 2013, lost his starting spot due to a turf toe injury and ineffectiveness during training camp, but Arians said he has confidence in Cooper if he's needed.

"He's had two really good weeks of practice," Arians said. "There's hardly any noticeable limp whatsoever, and he's playing much better."

Safety Rashad Johnson broke his thumb against the 49ers but practiced Monday with it wrapped in a cast. Johnson said a 49ers player accidentally kicked it while being tackled, leading to the fracture.

It was his second digit-related injury of the past two seasons after a portion of his middle finger was taken off against the Saints in 2013, also in the season's third week.

"Third game of the season (curse)," Johnson said.

Images of #CardsGameFace social media posts in the early part of the season



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