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David Johnson needed stitches after playing catch with Carson Palmer

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs drills during the first day of the team's NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 22, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Please, do not question Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer’s arm strength.

It’s just fine, as running back David Johnson can attest.

“Oh, he’s still got it. To say the least, he definitely still has an arm,” he said, laughing.

Earlier this month Johnson went to San Diego to work out with Palmer and fellow quarterback Drew Stanton near Palmer’s Southern California home. The purpose, according to Johnson, was to better understand the playbook and “see what (Palmer’s) thinking when I’m doing a route or when there’s a certain coverage.”

One day Palmer fired a pass a bit too hard, and well, let Johnson explain the rest.

“There’s a funny story,” he said. “I ended up having to get stitches in my finger because he was throwing some heat. His arm was so fresh that I had to actually get stitches in one of my fingers.”

It was Johnson’s left pinky finger.

The throw—about 15-20 yards—had opened up a cut on the finger and caused a subluxation, or partial dislocation.

“I felt pretty bad,” Palmer said, before quickly adding, “but he wasn’t wearing gloves so I can put a little bit of blame on him.”

What was the head coach’s reaction?

“Don’t throw the ball so hard, to him,” Bruce Arians said he told Palmer. “And David, wear your damn gloves. You wear them in the game.”

Initially, Johnson didn’t think anything of the injury.

“I actually kept playing,” he said, flashing his trademark smile. “We kept playing catch; just wrapped it up and we kept going.”

Only later did the finger receive the proper treatment.

“I felt bad because we washed it with the hose,” Palmer said, “and then I started thinking, ‘Man, that’s probably not the cleanest water in Southern California, out of a hose to be washing all the blood off your hand.’ But (Johnson) did the smart thing, he called (head athletic trainer) Tom Reed and made sure to go to the hospital to get it taken care of.

“Glad that gotten take of and that was a month or so ago so it’s had plenty of time to heal.”

Last season some had questioned whether Palmer, 37, still had an NFL arm. His throws, especially early in the year, didn’t appear to have the same zip.

No one is questioning his arm strength anymore.

“He’s definitely feeling good I would say,” Johnson said.

Is that what Palmer was thinking, too, that he’s still got it heading into his 15th season?

“That was not my first thought,” he said, drawing laughs from reporters. “My first thought was, this is not good. We’re not on Arizona Cardinals property. We’re away from the facility, that was my first thought. I was a little nervous for him.”

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