The Arizona Cardinals could get back quarterback Carson Palmer earlier than first expected. Head coach Bruce Arians is at the Senior Bowl to help scout draft prospects and was interviewed by SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday. Arians indicated Palmer is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation.
Palmer tore an ACL in Week 10 of the 2014 season, ending his season and also beginning a tailspin for the Cardinals to end the season.
Palmer had surgery and has said all along he is ready for the offseason.
When Arians was on SiriusXM NFL Radio, he said, "I think he'll be back for mandatory mini-camp, but I wouldn't put it past him to be back for OTAs."
In 2014, the Cardinals help their mandatory mini-camp June 10-12. They had OTAs three of the four weeks previous to mini-camp, beginning May 20.
Palmer suffered the injury November 9. Recovery can be anywhere between six months and a year. However, being a quarterback, it is reasonable to think he could begin getting reps with his teammates more towards the beginning of that timetable. The middle of May would be six months, but in OTAs, nobody can touch the quarterback. There is no contact, so it is different than other positions, where there is some contact, even without pads.
The nine-month time frame would put him in the middle of training camp.
Of course, this is all just very optimistic talk. Palmer, though, having torn his ACL before, knows the process and what to expect. He also loves practice and offseason work (he has admitted that being a QB it is different because he doesn't get hit), so it is reasonable to think he would make it back that early.