Mathieu on Palmer hit: 'My heart was in my behind'


The importance of Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals' success in 2015 is not to be underestimated.

To underscore that point, when Tyrann Mathieu accidentally knocked running back Kerwynn Williams into the quarterback during Monday's practice, the safety might have broken some laws of anatomy.

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"My heart was in my behind," Mathieu said Tuesday, per the team's official website. "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)."

Palmer was fine. He sat out Tuesday's session in a pre-planned scenario to get the veteran rest during camp.

It's the type of play that can happen during practices, even though the quarterback is off limits to hitting. Mathieu's reaction to sending a running back into the quarterback, who is coming off his second ACL tear, highlights that teammates understand his importance.

Coach Bruce Arians dismissed the incident, but said it shook Honey Badger up.

"It scared the (expletive) outta Ty though," Arians deadpanned.

The Cardinals are a different team when Palmer is on the field. His strengths play perfectly to Arian's offensive game plans. Arizona has won 13 of its last 15 games with Palmer under center.

Mathieu understands the significance, which is why his heart figuratively -- we assume-- sank to his backside after the hit.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast features Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sharing his thoughts on the upcoming season.