Friday, November 13, 2015, 6:45pm
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (ankle, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 10. Fitzgerald should be fine to play in Week 10, but he has not fared well against the Seahawks in recent years, catching just 14 passes for 133 yards and no touchdowns in his last five games against Seattle. That only includes two games with Carson Palmer, so all hope is not lost. He’s just not the top 10 play that he’s typically been this season.
That will change Wednesday.
Floyd will practice “a little bit” on Wednesday, coach Bruce Arians said, more than a month since Floyd fractured three fingers during training camp on Aug. 5. The fourth-year receiver has caught soft passes over the last few weeks, mainly from team trainers but also a few from quarterback Carson Palmer before Tuesday’s practice.
However, Floyd hasn’t attempted to catch a pass at full velocity.
Floyd said right now it's all mental. The story added it’s not the physical act of catching a football that has Floyd concerned. It’s protecting his left hand, both during a play and while he’s being tackled. Floyd said he’ll be wearing some sort of brace designed by the Cardinals’ training staff, but didn’t know more about it.
Arizona gained 11 yards and a first down on two runs and a pass. Quarterback Carson Palmer stayed upright. Arizona looked like it was on its way to another offensive outpouring.
Then on the Cardinals' fourth play from scrimmage, right guard Jonathan Cooper got beat by Oakland defensive end Denico Autry, which ignited a chain of events that led to the offense crashing down. Autry then bulldozed Cardinals running back Andre Ellington, who nearly fell into Palmer, who had to tuck the ball for a moment to avoid getting hit and losing it. Palmer then missed the opening to hit Larry Fitzgerald, which led to an interception.
And it didn't stop there.
Palmer was sacked three times and threw two interceptions in the first half before backup Drew Stanton replaced him in the third quarter. After weeks of promising practices with air-tight pockets and pinpoint accuracy, the Cardinals' offense looked scattered. The tackles -- both Jared Veldheer on the left side and Bradley Sowell on the right -- were consistently beat, which led to Palmer getting hit 14 times in the first half.
It's not good news for Palmer and his owners, but it is just the preseason. The team had concerns about keeping Palmer upright and healthy this season all through the offseason. As we saw last year, Palmer is the key to making this talented offense run.
His rookie speedster had gained a step on cornerback Richard Crawford, but the veteran quarterback has thrown countless bombs in his career, and knows an overthrow when he lets one fly.
Except, this time, he was wrong. As the ball ended its descent, Nelson sat there waiting for it, actually slowing down in order to complete the 57-yard gain.
“I can’t wait to watch it on film,” Palmer said. “He must have hit the nitrous button because he took off.”
When the Cardinals selected Nelson in the fifth-round of the draft, they knew he had speed. The Alabama-Birmingham star had the fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting combine and figured to come in and compete for kick and punt return duties immediately, the story said. His playing time at wideout was less certain, with Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown taking up the majority of the snaps and Jaron Brown and Brittan Golden battling Nelson for the fourth receiver spot. But with Floyd recovering from three dislocated fingers in his hand, it was Nelson who started alongside John Brown and Fitzgerald in a three-receiver set in the 22-19 preseason loss to the Chargers. Much like John Brown last year, Nelson could be a guy who comes out of no where on the Cards deep list of WRs.
Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim was impressed by his team’s deep threats at receiver last Saturday night against the Chargers. But he’s also concerned that quarterback Carson Palmer won’t have enough time to pass the ball if the Cardinals don’t protect him better.
The Chargers had six sacks in the first half of the victory, including two on Palmer, who dropped back just nine times.
“If we can protect Carson, we have some guys who can not only create separation, but can be explosive,” Keim said Monday morning on his weekly appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
The story said both tackles gave up sacks, even though Keim didn't blame the offensive line entirely. He also pointed to missed assignments by running backs, which also happens to be an area bit by the injury bug so far in camp for the Cards. Palmer is a potential late-round starting option at QB who has a lot of weapons to throw to . But as the story said, he needs to be protected to allow his talented WRs to get open - on top of staying healthy.
The bulky black brace Cards QB Carson Palmer wears on his left knee is about the only sign he is less than nine months removed from his second torn anterior cruciate ligament.
That and, well, the way head coach Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians still sometimes shakes his head in disbelief that three weeks into training camp, Palmer isn’t just healthy, he’s better.
And maybe better than he’s been at any point since he made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2005 and 2006 while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Carson is in great shape, mentally and physically,” Arians told USA TODAY Sports.
Plenty of coaches gush these sorts of platitudes about their quarterback this time of year. But it means something coming from a quarterback guru like Arians, who has tutored passers like Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck.
The story said that through three weeks of training camp, Palmer has been among the Cardinals’ most consistent players, something that backs up numerous reports we've had here at 4for4. In a recent fully-padded practice, he zipped pass after pass across the middle of the field to Larry Fitzgerald, and nailed several deep touchdown passes to second-year receiver John Brown — all while playing against a secondary that includes stars Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. Then, in his first live action since suffering the knee injury on Nov. 9, Palmer went 4-for-4 for 77 yards to lead the Cardinals to a touchdown in his one series of work in the preseason opener against Kansas City last week. All signs are pointing to Palmer having very nice, later-round value at the QB position, definitely something to note if you're waiting to draft at the position.
Safety Rashad Johnson: “The timing, the zip, the placement of the ball. He’s just been on fire. I’m surprised to see how well he’s come back from the (knee) injury. I think it took us a week and half to get an interception off of him. With the secondary we have, that’s very impressive. He’s playing at a very, very high level. You can tell he understands the offense way better than he did a couple years ago. I’m excited, man. I’ve never seen a quarterback play this well in person, besides Kurt Warner.”
Safety Tyrann Mathieu: “His arm has gotten so much stronger. And just his confidence. He’s throwing the ball into double coverage and against our best cornerback. That confidence he has and the trust in his receivers, that’s what stands out to us the most. We practice against him but we don’t play against him. He’s on our team so we’re pretty excited for the season to get here.”
Cornerback Patrick Peterson: “The way he’s going through his progressions, as far as one, two, three reads. You can tell he’s much more comfortable within the offense and Coach Arians’ play calling. And his arm looks so much stronger than the years past. Just look at him, his demeanor, his confidence is different. I wish we could just wrap him up in a whole bunch of bubble wrap and keep him safe leading up to the season.”
In the 15 games since his team’s 2013 bye, Palmer is averaging 277 yards 1.8 touchdowns and 0.8 interceptions. Those are fringe QB1 numbers, and he has a nice receiving corps (including Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown) to throw to. Everything is going smoothly with his recovery from ACL surgery, so he's our favorite late-round sleeper at the QB position. For more on Palmer, be sure to read the Cardinals-qb-carson-palmer">Sleeper Alert that Senior Editor John Paulsen issued back in June.
Saturday, August 15, 2015, 4:45pm
One by one, Carson Palmer's passes landed softly in the hands of their intended targets.
Larry Fitzgerald. Michael Floyd. John Brown. Jaron Brown. One by one, Palmer hit them in stride, throwing his passes so perfectly that the receivers didn’t have to adjust a muscle to come down with the football.
Through the first two weeks of training camp, Palmer has defied expectations that accompany a 35-year-old who’s coming off a second major knee surgery and a rehabbed nerve that damaged his throwing shoulder. The proof came in a 65-yard bomb to John Brown that was perfect.
Palmer is definitely one of our sneaky, late round QB picks who could put up good enough fantasy numbers to at least make owners consider starting him a lot of weeks this year. Taking Palmer late will allow owners to load up at other positions.
Palmer has looked healthy early in training camp, which is a good sign according to CBS NFL columnist Pete Prisco, who visited Cardinals camp this week.
“Palmer, to me, looked like he was better than he was before he got hurt,” Prisco told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday morning. “And by that I mean he’s stronger, he’s worked on his mechanics. The ball comes out better. I think if there’s any concern whatsoever about Carson Palmer, there shouldn’t be, because he looked like the same guy he was.”
In the 15 games since his team’s 2013 bye, Palmer is averaging 277 yards 1.8 touchdowns and 0.8 interceptions. Those are fringe QB1 numbers, and he has a nice receiving corps (including Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown) to throw to. Everything is going smoothly with his recovery from ACL surgery, so as long as he doesn’t suffer a setback this summer, he's our favorite 2015 sleeper at the quarterback position.
Carson Palmer wasn’t at practice Tuesday, but that was planned all along. The quarterback was going to sit out to rest his legs, and backup quarterback Drew Stanton was scheduled to sit out Wednesday.
That it was the plan was important, since Palmer is coming off an ACL tear and Monday, in his first day in the pocket of padded 11-on-11, Palmer had his legs taken out -- making everyone in University of Phoenix Stadium gasp for a moment.
“My heart was in my behind,” Mathieu said. “It was tough, man. We are feeling pretty good as a team right now so I certainly didn’t want to be responsible for No. 3 (Palmer).”
The story said Palmer immediately jumped up in the middle of the two-minute drill for the next play, but that didn’t make it any easier for coach Bruce Arians or blitzing safety Tyrann Mathieu, who knocked running back Kerwynn Williams into Palmer. Good news all around as Palmer dodged a bullet. Palmer is a potential sleeper for those waiting on the QB position.
Monday, July 27, 2015, 1:42pm
“This is just kind of one of those things with the MCL, you just took a little bit more time to let it recover, let it get that strength back so it wasn’t so flexible,” Stanton said. “And really just go from there.”
Stanton injured his knee against St. Louis in Week 15, but wasn’t ruled out for the rest of the season, even leading up to the Cardinals’ wild-card playoff game at Carolina. The recovery process allowed Stanton to fully participate in OTAs and minicamp in May and June.
He filled in for starting quarterback Carson Palmer during 11-on-11 drills in minicamp.
“It’s responded really well,” Stanton said. “Starting way back when and kind of having a process and sticking to it, I haven’t had a day where it felt off or it didn’t feel like it recovered from the day before. It’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes, but I think it’s paid off.”
As it was last year, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer has brought wide receiver John Brown to southern California to live with him and work out. And as it was last year, Palmer feels he is throwing well, sharpening his mental game – and feeling no problems with his knee. “I’m not even thinking about my knee,” Palmer said. “I’m still rehabbing just to be on the safe side of things but I don’t need to be at rehab. I’m full go in the weight room, full go on the field, and until it’s brought up, I haven’t thought about what I’m not doing because I’m doing everything I was doing.”
As he outlined in his Sleeper Alert, Palmer is Sr. Editor John Paulsen's favorite sleeper at the quarterback position. In the 15 games since his team’s 2013 bye, Palmer is averaging 277 yards 1.8 touchdowns and 0.8 interceptions. Those are fringe QB1 numbers, and he has a nice receiving corps (including Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown) to throw to. As long as the knee is good to go, Palmer is an ideal candidate for a "wait on QB" strategy.
It is not just the Cardinals and their fans who are expecting WR John Brown to be a difference maker in the Cardinals offense. NFL.com writer Chris Wesseling ranked Brown sixth in his list of players he believes will "make the leap" this season and start to become a household name around the NFL.
"It's rare to come across an offseason hype bunny who meets expectations as a rookie. It's even more rare to find an NFL draft sleeper in the height of the Twitter era. A hidden gem from small-school Pittsburg State, the third-round pick immediately impressed the Cardinals with his high-end speed, uncanny instincts and unexpected understanding of route concepts.
The article went on to say Wesseling thinks Brown needs to work on his strength, but he believes it's not out of the question Brown could pass teammate Michael Floyd this year. Right now we have Brown ranked 45th on our WR list with an ADP of the 9th round. Interestingly, we have the Cardinal WRs all going around the same time in 12-team formats: Brown 9.07, Floyd 8.04 and Larry Fitzgerald 8.11. However it's Fitzgerald who we have rated the highest at 24th (Floyd's ranked 39th on our list). Fitz could end up being the best value among the three as other WRs ranked around Fitzgerald are all going as many as three rounds earlier. A healthy QB Carson Palmer is the key to how successful the Arizona passing game is this season, and of course all three of these guys will help boost Palmer's value.
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald still looks as strong and fit as ever, but the chemistry building between Carson Palmer and second year wide receiver John Brown was on full display, especially on deep routes.
"I expect huge things from you this year. There is something different about him," Palmer told me after practice.
Word around the Cardinals building is that his Brown is stronger, in better shape and people are taking notice of his work ethic. (Wide receiver Michael Floyd sat out with a tweaked hamstring) Carson and Brown will continue working together after this week's minicamp ends. Brown will work out in San Diego with Palmer.
Brown finished as the #49 WR in standard formats and #53 in PPR. He saw a hefty 103 targets as a rookie, and with Larry Fitzgerald back and Michael Floyd still in the mix, it's doubtful that Brown's usage will increase too much. If Carson Palmer is healthy, however, the whole passing offense could take a step forward, and that would push Brown into fantasy-starter territory.
Palmer averaged 271 yards, 1.8 touchdowns and 0.5 interceptions in six 2014 starts, or 17.2 fantasy points per game. Those are fringe QB1 numbers, continuing the progress he made in the second half of the 2013 in Bruce Arian's offense. So if Palmer (ACL) is good to go for 2015, he'll be on the radar as a late-round value for those owners looking to stream or form a committee at the position. He's one of our favorite 2015 sleepers at the quarterback position.
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