49ers-Cardinals Preview

Carson Palmer will again be out for the Arizona Cardinals.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick tried to clear his name this week as he gets ready to attempt to bounce back from a poor effort.

The Cardinals will have Drew Stanton under center again Sunday, but they won’t have running back Jonathan Dwyer following his arrest on aggravated assault charges as they host a 49ers team smarting from a brutal defeat in a NFC West matchup.

Palmer sat out last Sunday’s 25-14 road win over the Giants with a bruised nerve in his shoulder. Arizona (2-0) continues to look for solutions to the issue, and coach Bruce Arians said Friday that Palmer is still unable to throw a pass.

That led Arians to announce Stanton as his starter again, though Palmer could be the backup instead of rookie Logan Thomas if his condition improves by Sunday.

Dwyer’s status changed Wednesday as the Cardinals deactivated him from all team activities. He was arrested in connection with two altercations at his home in late July involving a 27-year-old woman and an 18-month-old child.

"It was like the worst nightmare a coach can have right now," Arians said. "For me personally, I was totally shocked because I’ve known Jon a long time and it was totally out of character from what I’ve known."

While Dwyer’s status going forward remains unclear, Arizona knows it won’t have linebacker John Abraham for the rest of the season. The league’s active career sacks leader suffered a concussion in the season opener and was placed on injured reserve Friday.

As for Stanton, he threw for 167 yards and no touchdowns last week but more importantly did not have a turnover in his first action since 2010.

"He has a lot of respect in that locker room," Arians said. "He’s got a lot more now."

Turnovers were a major issue for Kaepernick, who matched a career high with four as he had three interceptions and lost a fumble last Sunday. San Francisco (1-1) blew a 17-point lead in a 28-20 loss to Chicago in the first game at Levi’s Stadium.

"I think he was seeing things good," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "He threw some pretty darn good balls that got intercepted."

Kaepernick said he has been fined more than $11,000 by the NFL and he will appeal the penalty for what was called ”inappropriate language” by the 49ers star following a fourth-quarter interception. He reiterated Wednesday, ”I didn’t say anything” when he and Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston went at it.

Kaepernick is 3-0 with six touchdowns and 838 passing yards in three starts against Arizona.

He is no doubt hopeful that Vernon Davis will be available. The tight end, who caught two TD passes in the season-opening win at Dallas, is nursing a left ankle injury suffered last weekend.

The Cardinals will have to decide how they want to employ their secondary against former Arizona star Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. Patrick Peterson will likely spend some time on both of those receivers after the All-Pro cornerback struggled last week and was penalized three times.

”I thought it was his poorest game since I’ve been here,” said Arians about Peterson. ”He got frustrated and let the referees get to him. The referees called a heck of a game. The players played a bad one.”

Penalties have been an issue for the 49ers, who have had 27 infractions accepted against them for the league’s highest amount. San Francisco had 16 penalties for 118 yards last Sunday.

”Those penalties, man, they hurt us big time,” linebacker Patrick Willis said. ”We had a lot of opportunities where we had a chance to get off the field and you turn around and see the flag. It’s kind of like a punch in the gut."

The Cardinals have dropped nine of their last 10 in this series, though these rivals played two tight games in 2013 in Arians’ first season. Arizona was within two points in the fourth quarter of a 32-20 loss at San Francisco on Oct. 13 and fell 23-20 on Dec. 29 on a field goal as time expired.

"We’re going to have to be at our absolute best in all phases," said Harbaugh about facing the Cardinals. "So that’s my impression. They’re a very good football team. We know that, played them twice last year and they’re off to a heckuva start this year."

Boldin, who spent his first seven seasons with the Cardinals, marked his first game as a visitor to Arizona with nine catches for 149 yards and a touchdown in the second matchup last year.

The 49ers are the only team that has no points in the fourth quarter, getting outscored 28-0. The Cardinals have outscored foes 27-0 in the fourth.

"It’s the first division game of the year and it’s a team that we haven’t beaten in a while so it’s always a big game," Arians said.

This contest also features a matchup of cousins. Andre Ellington is Arizona’s top rusher with 144 yards while San Francisco rookie receiver Bruce Ellington is the team’s primary punt returner.