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Cardinals’ Palmer won’t play in Pro Bowl, cites finger

Arizona Cardinals' Carson Palmer drops back during the first half the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Watching Carson Palmer throw the football over the past couple of weeks, one might wonder if something was bothering him.

On Monday, a day after the team’s 49-15 NFC Championship loss to the Carolina Panthers, Palmer withdrew his name from the upcoming Pro Bowl.

In withdrawing from the game, he mentioned giving his finger and hand time to rest and heal.

“I’m going to let my hand heal up,” Palmer said.

During the Cardinals’ Week 15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, he hit his right index finger on an Eagles helmet as he let go of a throw. Since then he, nor the team, have used it as an excuse but there were times balls he completed for most of the season wound up sailing over the intended wide receiver’s head or were just a bit inaccurate.

Head coach Bruce Arians had said it wasn’t an issue with his play leading up to and immediately after Sunday’s loss. While Arians didn’t think it affected his play, he did agree with the quarterback in deciding against playing in the Pro Bowl.

“I don’t think it did. Watching him throw for the last two-and-a-half weeks, it really didn’t,” Arians said Monday. “Had we had to play the first round, I think it was affecting him a little bit. It was affecting him a ton.

“I probably should have not played him against Seattle [in Week 17] and let it heal more. [But] that’s the right thing to do, you don’t need to take a chance with it in the Pro Bowl.”

Palmer, leading the Cardinals to a 13-3 regular season record and an NFC West championship, had a career-best 35 touchdowns.

Cardinals guard Mike Iupati also pulled himself from playing in the Pro Bowl.

The Pro Bowl is this Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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