TEMPE, Ariz. — Head coach Bruce Arians is unsure how long the starters will play in the final preseason game Thursday at Denver.
“They will not play much,” Arians said Monday.
Quarterback Carson Palmer may not play at all.
“If your number gets called, your number gets called,” Palmer said. “You always got to be ready, on any day; but it’s not my decision.”
No, the decision is Arians’ and he said it “will be determined later” whether Palmer sees the field again before the regular season opener at St. Louis.
Should he not, then the final preseason image of Palmer is of him throwing a 16-yard pass to Michael Floyd for a third quarter touchdown, the only one scored by the Cardinals against the Chargers Saturday.
Palmer finished the game 12-of-23 for 122 yards.
“I really don’t put too much weight on any preseason games,” Palmer stated.
What Palmer does put weight on is the number of reps he’s received between OTAs, minicamp and training camp in an offense that is brand new to him.
“I’m very excited,” Palmer said.
Palmer sees the potential with passing targets in Larry Fitzgerald, a future Hall of Famer, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd and Rob Housler; not to mention having a two-time 1,000-yard running back in Rashard Mendenhall.
“When I first came in, you weren’t sure, you haven’t met guys, you haven’t seen guys on the field,” Palmer said. “Until you get in 7-on-7 sets and have a chance to go back and study with guys and watch things and talk about plays, you get to see how football-bright people are.
“For some of the silly things we did in our last preseason game, we have smart football players on offense. Combine that with athleticism and speed and experience — you look at a guy like Larry’s experience and his catches and his touches in games, I’m as excited and as optimistic as ever.”
It’s why Palmer, who has completed 52.3 percent of his preseason throws with two touchdowns and more importantly, no turnovers, may not need another audition ahead of the curtain rising on Week 1.
“I feel very comfortable with going into St. Louis,” Palmer said. “I’ve already started preparing for them.”