Adversity finds Carson Palmer but QB responds with bomb to J.J. Nelson
Carson Palmer’s first game action since suffering a second ACL tear went as well as it could’ve in Week 1 of the preseason.
When the Arizona Cardinals quarterback followed that 4-for-4 performance with a 3-for-7 Saturday night in a 22-19 loss to the San Diego Chargers, it wasn’t all bad.
The Chargers did get several hits on Palmer in the pocket while the quarterback worked behind an offensive line adjusting to a few absences. Palmer welcomed the physicality he faced against San Diego.
“It’s just good to get those out of the way and get your body acclimated,” he said.
The hits just got Palmer going.
He finished with 77 yards through the air and a touchdown pass to John Brown. Palmer first hit a home run play by connecting a 57-yard deep ball with speedy rookie receiver J.J. Nelson, and he then twice connected with Brown as part of a touchdown drive in the first quarter.
It was the bomb to Nelson that got all the attention.
“When I let it go, I thought I had overthrown him,” Palmer said of the completion. “I can’t wait to watch it on film. He must’ve hit the nitrous button ’cause he took off and got out there underneath that thing. He displayed that 4.2, fastest 40(-yard dash) at the combine right there.”
Nelson admitted he too thought the ball may have had a bit too much on it.
“I definitely thought it was overthrown at first,” he said. “I guess a little nitrous had to kick in. It was a pretty good play.”
It’s kind of funny, when you think about it. Palmer is known for having a strong arm, but the idea that he could overthrow someone with the kind of speed Nelson possesses? Well, anything’s possible, but at least on this night, with this throw, the rookie was able to make the play.
“Like Coach always says, you accelerate and adjust,” Nelson said. “So if the ball is overthrown then you have to accelerate. If the ball is underthrown then you must adjust. I always go back to that coaching.”
Overall the receiver made his first really big play, while the quarterback responded well to the first bit of adversity of the preseason.
“Not perfect, not perfectly clean. We’ll look at it, clean it up, keep marching forward,” Palmer said.