Optimistic he’ll return this season

Arizona Cardinals

Nearly six weeks after suffering a broken arm, Carson Palmer is holding onto the chance he’ll play again this season.

In the midst of a 33-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in London on Oct. 22, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer suffered a broken left arm. He was placed on injured reserve a few days later, with an earliest possible return of Week 16 essentially rendering his season over.

But the nearly 38-year-old signal caller almost immediately considered that Week 16 return possible. As the Cardinals get set to play the Rams again on Sunday, via ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, Palmer did not waver when asked at an event supporting the Arians Family Foundation.

“I feel pretty good,” Palmer said when addressing the chances of playing again in 2017. “We’ve got another three weeks before I think I can practice, but I feel great. I’m in the middle of all the rehab stuff and I feel like I’m getting my strength back, but I feel great.”

Palmer can begin practicing Thursday, and he’d be able to play Week 16 against the New York Giants. The Cardinals are 2-2 since Palmer was injured, which has them at 5-6 and clinging to contention in the NFC playoff picture. They have home games against the Rams and Tennessee Titans over the next two weeks, then a road game against the Washington Redskins in Week 15 before Palmer could take the field again.

Wins in all three of those games may be what it takes to maintain any playoff chances for the Cardinals. Any less than two wins in the next three would basically end their playoff hopes. The decision to activate Palmer should rest on if Arizona can realistically make the playoffs with wins in Week 16 and 17, regardless of any decision he might make in the offseason about his playing future.

Otherwise, returning for two meaningless regular season games will have the feel of a farewell tour.

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