A reader of the site (“Deem0916”) wrote in and asked me an interesting question this morning: Is Carson Palmer’s arm shot?
I don’t think it’s completely shot, but he certainly hasn’t been nearly the same quarterback since suffering an elbow injury two years ago which shelved him for the rest of the season.
I don’t think this has anything to do with the knee injury that Palmer suffered in January of 2006 (the playoffs of the 2005 season) when he went down against the Steelers. Palmer came back with a big 2006 season, so I really don’t think the knee has anything to do with this.
To me, it’s clear that Palmer has never fully gotten over the elbow injury. He elected to not have surgery following the ‘08 season (which I thought was a good sign at the time) but he’s never been the same since. Maybe he needed surgery and made a poor choice. Or maybe he’s just lost it mentally.
Although, the problem seems to be more than just what is going on between his ears. Palmer simply does not have the same velocity on his throws that he displayed earlier in his career. His accuracy has also declined, which is hard to explain unless he does in fact have an injury that is still nagging him.
Either way, he seems pretty close to being done to me. Then again, the Bengals won’t be able to find anyone better at the quarterback spot, so I’m sure they’ll keep him for at least another year. And that’s probably the smart thing to do until they know they have a good replacement.
For fans wanting a QB change now, it isn’t going to happen. Not when the craptastic Jordan Palmer is the backup. You think Carson is playing bad? Just give Jordan a chance to see the field. He might set a new single-game interception record.
The other option is rookie Dan LeFevour from Central Michigan, although he is probably at least a year away from being able to help. He played strictly a spread offense in college (and was very effective running it) and is still learning how to be a pro-style QB that takes the majority of snaps under center. The Bengals might have something with LeFevour and if Palmer keeps on playing terribly, we might see the rookie before the year is done just so he can show what he can do.