NFL analyst Warner: Scary practice moment may be good for Carson Palmer
Aug 4, 2015, 11:00 AM
(Photo: Vince Marotta/Arizona Sports)
There was a scary moment during Arizona Cardinals training camp Monday.
Tyrann Mathieu, as he often does, blitzed. The running back on the play, Kerwynn Williams, stepped up to block him. Mathieu won the battle, pushing Williams into the backfield and into quarterback Carson Palmer’s left leg.
You know, the same leg Palmer had surgery on to repair a torn ACL.
Fortunately for everyone involved, the QB finished the play unscathed, so all’s well that ends well. And while the sequence may have caused everyone’s heart to skip a beat, in a way, it may have actually been a good thing.
“The one thing is, this is the second time he’s been through it, so he’s at least got experience — obviously not good experience — but experience about coming back from it and the hurdles you have to get over,” former Cardinals quarterback and current NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday. “A lot of times they are more mental sometimes than physical because you’re worried every time anybody gets close.”
Warner never suffered a torn ACL or anything like that, but he did not make it through his 12-year NFL career without injury. While with St. Louis, a broken hand cost him five games during the 2000 season, and a broken finger in the fourth game of the 2002 season also forced him to miss time. Both injuries caused him to have some problems in both gripping and throwing the football.
Then, in 2007 with the Cardinals, a torn ligament in his non-throwing elbow forced him to wear a brace and alter how he handed the ball off.
While he doesn’t know exactly what Palmer is going through in having to return following a torn ACL, he has an idea of what it’s like to play through or return from injury.
“And so you’re a little tentative throwing the ball, are you willing to step into it and step up in traffic,” he said. “I would have to guess, having not gone through anything like that, I would have to guess that Carson holds his breath too, but at the same time he wants some of those things to happen so he can get that mentality where he stops thinking about it. Where no longer is it in his thought process when people get close to him or people are rolling around, that now he’s back to playing football.
“We know as a quarterback you’re not going to get many of those hits, you’re not going to get many of those opportunities because they’re going to keep you upright through most of training camp and the hope is through most of preseason, so you don’t get many of those. I’m sure he welcomes some opportunities where he can get over those mental hurdles of even having to think about it at all and he just feels like I’m 100 percent back.”