Campbell to miss 3-4 weeks; Cardinals livid about chop block
DENVER — From the time Bruce Arians reached the podium Sunday in Denver, to the time he left, his voice never stopped wavering as he addressed the media.
He was visibly upset about Broncos tight end Julius Thomas’ chop block on defensive end Calais Campbell in the third quarter and he had good reason. Campbell is expected to miss three to four weeks with an MCL injury that is at least a severe sprain and may be a tear.
"I’ve been coaching for 37 years and that’s the dirtiest play I’ve ever seen in the National Football League," Arians said after the Cardinals’ 41-20 loss. "I know (Denver coach) John Fox and he’s a great coach and a great guy, but somebody has got to answer to that. A fine isn’t going to do it when (Calais is) going to miss three to four weeks on a blatant chop block."
Campbell arguably is the Cardinals’ best defensive player. On a unit that already lost Daryl Washington, Darnell Dockett and John Abraham (and Karlos Dansby in free agency), Campbell’s loss is nothing short of devastating.
It was bull (expletive)," receiver Larry Fitzgerald said of the block. "We all saw it. … I feel he should’ve been thrown out of the game. That could have been a career-ending injury."
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer finally may be seeing progress in his bruised right shoulder nerve.
Palmer visited a specialist in Denver over the weekend; the same specialist Broncos QB Peyton Manning has used. He said stimulating the muscles got the nerve to release and fire.
Palmer said he threw 20 balls on Sunday and is hopeful that with a little more treatment, he’ll be able to play Sunday against the Washington Redskins at University of Phoenix Stadium.
"I’m buddies with (former NFL player) John Lynch, who had a nerve issue in his neck three or four years ago," Palmer said. "He had a lot of success so I’m trying the same route he went."
Palmer opted to stay in Denver on Sunday for more treatment, but he planned to be back at the Cardinals training facility on Monday morning. His plan is to ramp up his throwing each day this week.
Palmer has missed the past three games after injuring the shoulder while being tackled along the sideline by San Diego safety Eric Weddle in the season-opener.
His return would seem critical for Arizona now that backup QB Drew Stanton has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be subject to league protocols this week. Logan Thomas is the team’s only healthy quarterback.
Arians hasn’t wanted media members to mention Cardinals quarterbacks’ interception-less streak or kicker Chandler Catanzaro’s field goal streak out of superstition. Reporters have not obliged and it hasn’t mattered.
Stanton and Logan Thomas did not toss an interception on Sunday, giving Arizona quarterbacks 133 attempts (and one by Tedd Ginn) without a pick.
As for Catanzaro, he connected on both of his field goal attempts to make him 11 for 11 this season. Catanzaro also hit all seven of his field goal attempts in the preseason.
Cardinals receivers dropped at least seven balls on Sunday, two by Ted Ginn, and one each by Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Andre Ellington and tight end Rob Housler, who got his hands on a ball thrown behind him in the end zone.
"They were timely ones, too," Fitzgerald said. "It was third downs and things that would have extended drives and that just kills you. It’s not the way you win ballgames."
— QB Drew Stanton left the game in the third quarter after a big hit and was diagnosed with a concussion.
— TE Troy Niklas was carted off with a left ankle injury.
— CB Justin Bethel left the game in the second quarter with a right shoulder injury.
— Patrick Peterson left the game in the fourth quarter with a low ankle sprain, but Arians believes he will be OK.
Logan Thomas probably envisioned his first NFL action a bit differently, but dreams don’t always fit reality. Thomas entered the game in the second half after Stanton left with a concussion and Thomas didn’t have much success.
His out pattern to running back Andre Ellington went for an 81-yard TD pass, giving him his first reception and first TD on the same play while pulling Arizona within 24-20 late in the third quarter.
But that was the only pass Thomas completed in a 1-for-8 performance.
"It’s a dream that I’ve always had since I was a little kid so it’s awesome to have the opportunity and also awesome to have the first touchdown in my career," he said. "At the same time, it was equally as bad to have a loss. That score helped get the jitters out a little bit but then I did some things down the road that weren’t as great."