Matt Kartozian / USA TODAY Sports
After a brief period of uncertainty, Carson Palmer is officially putting off retirement and returning for a fifth season in Arizona.
The Cardinals quarterback opened up about the recently announced decision in an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show” on Friday, reiterating that the decision-making process was about taking the necessary time to see how his body bounced back.
“I love playing the game, love everything about it, but at some point, your body tells you when to stop and (when) the season ended, I just went into Steve Keim and Bruce Arians and asked them if I could take a month and make sure my body would get back to 100 percent,” Palmer said, according to the team’s official website. “I took the month, my body has recovered well, feel great, feel ready to start getting ready in the offseason again. It was never about anything other than my body. My mind, my passion, all the things it takes to play this game, I still have. The desire to study, the desire to train, the desire to get ready for games.
“You start getting old like me, you start getting grey hair, your body starts telling you no. At some point it will, but I am excited I have responded, my body responded, and I get to keep playing.”
Palmer will turn 38 towards the end of the 2017 regular season. As is the case with a number of players on the wrong side of 30, and particularly those closing in on 40, the veteran signal-caller admittedly finds himself having to work through slower recovery times.
“The older you get, the later on in the week you start feeling better,” Palmer said. “Sometimes it takes up until Thursday, Friday to recover from the previous Sunday to be ready to play the next Sunday.”
The question for Palmer heading into his 15th season is whether he can avoid having the wear and tear impact his play.
Arizona missed out on the playoffs after posting a 7-8-1 record this past season. Much of the club’s struggles can be attributed to a down year from Palmer, as he finished with completions on 61 percent of pass attempts for 4,233 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
The Cardinals getting back to the playoffs and capitalizing on their Super Bowl potential will, of course, depend largely upon him recapturing the level of play he enjoyed across his first three years after landing in Arizona.
Palmer is just one year removed from an MVP-caliber season in which he led Arizona to an appearance in the NFC title game.