Carson Palmer has piled up some impressive numbers in his 11-year NFL career.
Wins, though, have been hard to come by.
Although he won’t say so, this has the makings of a season of redemption for the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall draft pick by Cincinnati in 2003.
After a rocky start with the Arizona Cardinals, Palmer is coming off two strong performances, throwing for 419 yards in a win at Jacksonville, then completing 26-of-37 for 314 yards and two touchdowns in last Sunday’s 40-11 thrashing of Indianapolis.
A month shy of his 34th birthday, Palmer finds himself on a winning team 11 games into a season. The Cardinals (7-4) have won four in a row heading into Sunday’s game at Philadelphia. This for a quarterback who has had a winning record only two times in his pro career.
Coach Bruce Arians said he thinks “it means the world” to Palmer to be playing for a winner.
“He can answer it better than I, but I know he comes to work with a smile on his face, and he comes in real early and leaves real late,” Arians said.
Palmer tends to avoid big-picture questions about his career.
“I come in and look at last week’s game film and look at the mistakes and look at the good things that happened and get ready for the next one, because you can’t look at the past,” he said. “You can’t worry about anything other than what’s going on and what’s right in front of you.”
Coming into this season, Palmer was 54-68 as a starter in an NFL career that got off to a promising start.
A standout at USC, Palmer didn’t play at all as a rookie, but in his second NFL season, he led the Bengals to an 11-5 regular-season record.
Then on his second snap in a playoff game, Palmer went down with a severe knee injury. He came back the following season to make the Pro Bowl and was MVP of that game, but his mobility has never been the same.
After Cincinnati went 4-12 in 2010, Palmer asked to be traded and refused to report to training camp. Three months later, the Bengals sent him to Oakland for a first- and second-round draft pick.
Last season, he threw for more than 4,000 yards for the third time in his career, but the Raiders went 4-12. So it was off to a fresh start in Arizona.
Around the league
Adrian Peterson returned to Minnesota Vikings’ practice on Friday and is probable for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Peterson, second in the league with 997 yards rushing, has been limited for three weeks with a groin injury and was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday. … New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and cornerback Trumaine McBride were ruled out for Sunday night’s road game against the Washington Redskins. Coach Tom Coughlin announced after practice Friday that backup running back Brandon Jacobs and cornerback Corey Webster also will be out. … Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson will miss his second consecutive game with a sprained knee, and DeAngelo Williams (thigh contusion) and two other Carolina running backs are questionable for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay. … The Tennessee Titans will be without receiver Damian Williams (hip) and tight end Craig Stevens (concussion) on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts … Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams (back) is questionable for Sunday’s game against Atlanta.