For the second time this season, backup quarterback Drew Stanton has taken center stage for the first-place Arizona Cardinals. It sounds like he will stay there a while.
Carson Palmer suffered a left knee injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over the St. Louis Rams. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported that the team believes the quarterback has torn his left ACL, which would end his season pending tests to confirm the news, per a source briefed on the injury.
This is the same knee Palmer shredded so severely in 2006 that his surgeon deemed the damage a "four" on a "scale of one to three." Coach Bruce Arians said after the game the team wouldn't know Palmer's prognosis until more tests are done.
Palmer had just signed a three-year, $50 million contract extension (with $20 million guaranteed) Friday to provide extra security in the twilight of his career.
After Palmer went down, Stanton immediately dialed up dynamic rookie John Brown for a 48-yard touchdown bomb that gave the Cardinals the lead.
Although Stanton's accuracy falls shy of NFL-starter quality, he's shown a willingness to pull the trigger on vertical strikes and in tight windows. He has benefited from the mentoring of Arians, one of the NFL's true quarterback gurus.
The Cardinals can stay afloat with Stanton under center, but their postseason upside will be capped if tests confirm Palmer is out for the season.
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