After the Cardinals lost to the Rams 17-13 on Sunday afternoon, there wasn’t much optimism around the team when it came to quarterback Carson Palmer’s chances of playing against the 49ers on Thursday night.
Palmer was diagnosed with a concussion after his head slammed into the turf while he was being sacked by Rams defensive linemen Aaron Donald and Eugene Sims. With a short week ahead of the Cardinals, coach Bruce Arians suggested it would be difficult for Palmer to get cleared in time and that the team will be “very, very careful” with Palmer as a result of the injury.
Monday brought a somewhat different tune from Arians. Palmer is in the concussion protocol, but Arians said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, that the quarterback’s condition was better on Monday than it was after Sunday’s loss. The coach is “more optimistic” that Palmer can play and said that Palmer won’t need to practice in order to play against the Niners.
The issue of medical clearance is one the Cardinals can’t control regardless of how optimistic they might be about the speed of Palmer’s recovery. If he gets through all the tests of the protocol, he’ll be eligible to play and, based on what Arians said, he will start. If not, Drew Stanton will get the call as Arizona tries to avoid a fourth loss in their first five games.