Every good thing must come to end.
Unfortunately for Carson Palmer, his 2014 NFL season ended far too soon.
The Arizona Cardinals quarterback who was playing arguably the best football of his career was carted to the locker room during Sunday’s comeback win over the St. Louis Rams with a torn ACL. It’s the second tear on the same knee and, coincidentally, the second time he’s been severely injured just days after signing a lucrative contract extension.
So the Cards now turn back to Drew Stanton who’s no stranger to the situation having played three games this season while Palmer recovered from a shoulder injury. The NFC’s best team now must play the remainder of the season without Palmer who vowed he will return.
The question is, can Arizona still win the Super Bowl with Stanton directing the offense?
“Of course,” SI.com senior NFL writer Peter King told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat during his weekly segment Tuesday morning. “Because I think they have a decent change, not a great chance, to win home field and that stadium has been a really, really good home field environment so far. I still think they have a great chance…anything can happen when you’re playing a playoff game at home.”
King warned, despite the club’s surprising-by-many start, there are several difficult road blocks ahead including Sunday’s showdown in Glendale with Detroit Lions and future road trips to NFC West foes San Francisco and Seattle.
Stanton is no stranger to Arians vertical passing system when both were in Indianapolis. In fact, Stanton helped Palmer acclimate himself to the nuances of the offense after coming over in off-season trade from Oakland in April of 2013.
“I think they have a really, really close relationship,” King told Cesmat. “Drew really likes Carson. A pro’s pro kind of guy. So I think he was really bummed by this.”
Looking ahead King believes, barring a Kurt Warner-like success story from Stanton, we haven’t seen the last of Palmer in an Arizona uniform.
“Barring a major surprise I think he will be the quarterback of the team next year,” King said. “I don’t think it’s going to the kind of debilitating injury because of the sounds of it, there isn’t as much damage on this one as there was on the one in 2006…I fully expect Palmer to be the quarterback of the Cardinals in 2015.”