Exactly how badly Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer’s left knee was damaged – and how long he’ll be replaced by backup Drew Stanton – might not be known until Monday or Tuesday.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was already in spin mode on Sunday, though.
”Everyone has confidence in Drew,” Arians said. ”Nothing drops off.”
Article continues below ...
Tough to tell whether he was trying to persuade himself or his players or future opponents.
Whatever the case, it was not ideal for Arizona to have Palmer driven away on a cart during what would become a 31-14 victory over the St. Louis Rams.
The Cardinals improved to an NFL-best 8-1 – the first time they’ve had that record since 1948, when the franchise was based in Chicago – heading into next week’s showdown against Detroit, which is 7-2.
Arizona is unbeaten this season in games started by Palmer, who got a three-year contract extension just a couple of days ago but now has hurt the same knee in which he tore ligaments in a 2006 playoff game.
And even if Stanton did lead Arizona to a couple of victories as a starter this season when Palmer had a shoulder problem, there is little doubt which quarterback would be better to have on the field when December or January rolls around.
The good news for Arians and the Cardinals is that they can lean on their defense, if need be.
After Palmer left against St. Louis, Patrick Peterson had two interceptions – returning the second 30 yards for a touchdown – and another defensive back, Antonio Cromartie, picked up a fumble and carried the ball 14 yards for another defensive TD.
In case you missed it, here are the other top topics after the NFL season’s 10th Sunday:
A HALF-DOZEN IN A HALF: QBs are tying or breaking record after record this season, and the latest installment was Aaron Rodgers’ six touchdown passes in the first half of Green Bay’s 55-14 win against Chicago at night. Tough to decide which was harder to fathom: that Rodgers accumulated a half-dozen TD tosses in the span of two quarters or that he wasn’t the first to do it in an NFL game (Oakland’s Daryle Lamonica, 1969). The flip side, of course, is that coach Marc Trestman’s Bears are a disaster, getting outscored 87-7 in the first halves of their past three games combined.
PEYTON WON’T GO: Apparently, Peyton Manning was not quite ready to leave Denver’s 41-17 victory at Oakland until he was good and ready to leave. A video clip from the CBS broadcast of the game made the rounds on Twitter, showing Manning’s backup, Brock Osweiler, preparing to enter the lopsided game – until he turned to see Manning leaving the sideline to go back in. Eventually, though, Manning decided enough was enough after his ninth career game with at least five touchdown passes, and Osweiler mopped up by throwing five passes.
PUSH OR FLOP?: The Saints lost to the 49ers 27-24 in overtime – ending a 20-game home winning streak for New Orleans coach Sean Payton, who missed a year because of the bounty case – after an apparent touchdown toss from Drew Brees to Jimmy Graham on the last play of regulation was wiped out by a call of offensive pass interference on the tight end. Graham made contact with defensive back Perrish Cox, who might have added a bit of, um, embellishment to his fall to the turf. ”Definitely not a push-off. I’m running down the field and I’m telling myself not to push off. `Whatever you do, don’t push off. Just go up and get it,”’ Graham said. ”It’s interesting, you know, how guys grab me everywhere on the field and I put literally two fingers on somebody and you make that kind of call.”
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP-NFL