Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer will undergo surgery after suffering a broken left arm in today’s game and will be sidelined for eight weeks, head coach Bruce Arians told reporters, including Craig Grialou of 98.7 FM (Twitter link).
Palmer will likely be placed on injured reserve in the coming days, and given the timeline of his injury, he could miss the remainder of the season. The NFL’s IR rules require a minimum absence of eight weeks, meaning Palmer could return for Week 16. But given Arizona’s current standing — the club is now 3-4, and had only a 2% chance of earning a postseason berth before today’s shutout loss to the Rams — the Cardinals may simply opt to shut Palmer down for the year.
Palmer, who will turn 38 years old in December, has flirted with retirement in the past, so it’s entirely possible that today’s injury represents the end of his 14-year NFL career. While Palmer hasn’t replicated his 2015 MVP-level performance this season, he’s been an above-average quarterback, as his 2017 quarterback rating, completion percentage, and yards per attempt average have been in line with his career norms. Palmer is signed through 2018, and is scheduled to earn a non-guaranteed $12.5MM base salary next season.
With Palmer out of the picture, the Cardinals will turn to Drew Stanton as their new starting quarterback. Stanton wasn’t effective on Sunday, as he completed only five of 14 attempts for 62 yards and one interception. However, entering a losing contest midway through is never an easy task, and Stanton will now get two weeks (Arizona is on bye in Week 8) to prepare before taking on the 49ers in November 5 road game.
Stanton will be the Cardinals’ starter, and he’ll be backed up by former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert, who’s been inactive for every game this season after inking a one-year pact in the spring. Arizona doesn’t currently have a quarterback on its practice squad, but the club could conceivably consider an addition in the coming days.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.