By Danny Cox
Injuries can easily hurt any team’s chances of doing well in a season or even advancing from one game to the next in the NFL Playoffs. As the Arizona Cardinals prepare to face off with the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round, they have had to make some roster moves to compensate for issues they can’t quite control.
Luckily, they have Carson Palmer at quarterback, and after more than a decade in the league, he is showing that he has what it takes to stand alongside the elite quarterbacks in the NFL.
Carson Palmer’s time has finally arrived
For 12 years, Carson Palmer has worked his way through the NFL and up the ladder to success. He’s had some rough goings here and there, but it appears as if he has finally found his place…his home, with the Arizona Cardinals. Palmer knows very well that nothing is a given, and that if you want to play next week, you have to give your everything this week.
“Not being able to play, it makes you appreciate film study that matters, practices that matter, the game,” Palmer said Tuesday. “There is no doubt that (this season) has been an absolute blast, and I want to keep playing.”
Through some tough seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, which ended badly, and then a couple in Oakland, Palmer could never quite seem to find where he belonged. Now, the Cardinals have their true leader and he has only gotten better with age. 2015 was a career year for Palmer in passing yards, touchdown passes, and quarterback rating.
The only thing now is to move forward one game at a time and make sure his teammates realize that in order to keep playing, you’ve got to win now.
Cardinals make some roster moves with the linebackers
The Cardinals have had to work through a lot of injuries in the past few years and 2015 was no different. Now, they are still having to work through them and it couldn’t happen at a worse time.
Linebacker Alex Okafor’s season has officially ended after being placed on the non-football-injury reserve list by the Cardinals on Tuesday. He has a toe injury that did not happen on the field or at practice, and head coach Bruce Arians would only say Okafor hurt himself over the weekend away from the field.
Okafor was a starting outside linebacker for the Cardinals, who will now be replaced by veteran linebacker Jason Babin. This season, Babin was in training camp with the New York Jets and spent about a month with the Baltimore Ravens.
Defensive tackle Cory Redding has also been placed on injured reserve due to re-injuring his shoulder in the regular season finale, and that ends his season. To fill his roster spot, inside linebacker Gabe Martin was promoted from the practice squad.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.