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Unlikely Return For David Johnson, Carson Palmer

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Injured running back David Johnson runs off the field after the Cardinals beat the 49ers earlier this season.


The question is likely no longer who will return from injured reserve for the Cardinals, but if anyone will return.

Coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday that he doubts either running back David Johnson or running back T.J. Logan, both sidelined after wrist surgery, will be able to play again this season. Quarterback Carson Palmer, who broke his arm in London and needed surgery, has an 8-to-10 week injury, Arians said. There are only nine weeks left in the

regular season.

Combined with the comments of General Manager Steve Keim Tuesday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 that the Cardinals will be careful with Palmer – “We’re not going to put him in harm’s way” – and the Cards seem unlikely to get either of their top offensive players back.

“We’ll continue to monitor it,” Keim said.

Arians said there is really no update on the running backs. Johnson is still in a cast, and while Logan is out of a cast, Arians said he is still a couple weeks away from having strength in the wrist. Both players are keeping up their conditioning with coaches.

As for a return, Arians was blunt.

“You have to ask the doctors,” Arians said. “Right now, I doubt it.”

BACK TO PRACTICE AFTER BYE

The Cardinals got a “bonus” practice Tuesday ahead of Sunday’s game in San Francisco, because they are coming off the bye week. Arians said he was pleased with the engagement from the team after some off days, and as for the areas of focus for his team, Arians said they would be the “obvious ones.”

On offense, it’s the need to produce more in the red zone and running the football more consistently. On defense, it’s getting off the field on third downs, and generating more turnovers.

“We thrive on disruptive plays and turnovers, and we’re not getting the turnovers,” Arians said.

SEEKING A FUMBLE RECOVERY

Among the turnovers the Cardinals aren’t getting are fumble recoveries. The Cards have yet to recover an opponent’s fumble in seven games this season, although it may just be the bounce of the ball.

“Fumble recoveries are kind of like luck, to be honest,” linebacker Deone Bucannon said. “Most of the time, forcing a fumble, that’s not luck, that’s skill. But when the ball is on the ground, it’s an oblong shape … (and) most of the time it’s a scrum within the pile. A lot of the time the first person that touches the ball is not the one who ends up with it. It’s the guys that are in there (doing) a lot of stuff you don’t see. It’s 30 – not 30, I’m exaggerating, but seven or eight guys that are 200, 300 pounds fighting for the ball. You are just hoping you can end up with it.”

ELLINGTON SHOULD RETURN

There was no injury report on the extra “bonus” practice day Tuesday, but Arians said running back Andre Ellington didn’t work. Ellington missed the game in London with a quad injury. Arians said he should return to practice Wednesday.

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