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Leftovers from the last day of Cards camp

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Before the Cardinals packed up their hotel rooms one last time, coach Bruce Arians spoke to the media for the last time in training camp.

And Arians was in a good mood.

“I know you guys are really upset about this being the last day here,” he said, tongue firmly planted in his cheek.

  • Arians said he’d be surprised if an NFC West team was not in the Super Bowl, and once they’re there, he expects them to win. But he stopped short of saying it’d be the Cardinals.

  • Quarterback Carson Palmer will start Sunday night’s game and backup Drew Stanton will either start the second half or come in late in the first. Rookie Logan Thomas will play the fourth quarter.

  • Arians said John Abraham “has a chance to play” Sunday against the Bengals. “We’ll see how it goes.”

  • Regarding Tyrann Mathieu’s availability Sunday, Arians wanted to wait until after Friday’s practice and make a decision Saturday.

  • Arians isn’t concerned about Kevin Minter’s pectoral injury, which has sidelined him since Aug. 11. “It’s just a matter of getting healthy.”

  • Arians said Minter and Jonathan Cooper, who’s been hampered by turf toe, have to play either Sunday or Thursday in the Cards’ preseason finale if they want to play in Week 1 on “Monday Night Football.”

  • Tackle Bradley Sowell has made “really good progress in the last two weeks” and is fighting for a spot on the roster.”

  • Arians said it’ll be tough to keep nine offensive linemen. “It’s going to come down to positions of strength and we have about four or five positions of strength, and who are the best players of that pool of five guys.” The last five guys on the roster, Arians said, are decided in part by what position is harder to replace in case of an injury, for example offensive tackle or outside linebacker.

  • Palmer would be the MVP of camp, Arians said, with cornerback Jerraud Powers a close second.

  • Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander has been playing more outside, Arians said.

  • Asked whether the kicking competition will last until Week 4, Arians was non-committal. “We’ll wait and see. It’s still a pretty tight race,” he said.