Carson Palmer back with teammates for Phase II of offseason workouts

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Monday marked the beginning of Phase II of the Arizona Cardinals offseason workouts, and guess who was there and raring to go? Carson Palmer.

It’s been nearly six months since Palmer tore his ACL against the St. Louis Rams. In that time, Palmer’s worked his tail off to get back to – or as close to – 100-percent as humanly possible.

Getting out with his teammates and getting some work in has revitalized Palmer in his comeback.

“I’m so excited about OTAs, mini-camp, training camp, New Orleans [Saints] coming here [to open the regular season], going to Chicago [Bears in Week Two] – you start thinking of all these things,” Palmer told Kyle Odegard of azcardinals.com. “I have to fight that. That’s a hurdle for me, personally. I’ve got to fight that. It’s one day at a time, one rep at a time. I’m not looking past anything.”

There was nothing really strenuous about the workout. By CBA rules, players aren’t allowed to wear helmets, nor is the offense allowed to drill against the defense. No live contact is permitted, so it was just Palmer doing some pitch and catch to his receivers, which Odegard said he looked good in doing.

“He [Palmer] not only handed the ball off to the running backs, but zipped short, intermediate and deep throws to his receivers,” Odegard said.

Palmer missed the rest of that Rams game, plus the other eight games after that – including the Wild Card playoff game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. At this point, it was good for Palmer to get back to doing any type of organized activities with his teammates, being that he hasn’t been with them for almost half a year.

“You want all your guys out there,” Palmer said. “I know I want my five starting linemen and my two starting receivers. You don’t ever want to see guys on the sidelines. Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to do everything once OTAs start, but I’ll be able to do just about everything. It’s important [to participate] because I enjoy it. I can’t wait for tomorrow and I can’t wait for every day.”

Palmer’s trusty backup – Drew Stanton – was out there as well, working and getting reps with the second team. Stanton is also making his way back, after missing the final three games of the season with a knee injury he suffered against the very same Rams team, five weeks after Palmer suffered his injury.

“It’s great,” Stanton said. “We’re both getting healthy. I can’t speak for Carson [Palmer], but from my standpoint it feels good to get out there and throw with these guys. Especially with some of these guys, it’s exciting to see from here all the way to camp who really takes off and makes this team, who is going to have an impact. We rely on those guys every single year, the Jaron Browns of the world.”

Odegard saw a different level of focus from Palmer on Monday. He says Palmer and Stanton took more time to perfect their footwork drills, and Palmer did some work all by himself to push his knee even more, to try and get it stronger.

“I’m always competing against other quarterbacks in the league in my head, and there are a lot of guys not coming off injuries,” Palmer told Odegard. “I have to work that much harder, spend that much more time on it. But that part’s easy for me. I like the work. I like the feeling I have when I go home, just knowing, ‘Man, I’m done. I couldn’t have done any more reps today. I don’t even want my kids to tackle me when I walk in the door today because I’m so tired.’ I enjoy that feeling. That part’s not an issue for me.”

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