Carson Palmer ready to return to practice

TEMPE, Ariz. – Carson Palmer has looked over to the sidelines before, seen a teammate not practicing and instantly became jealous.

Everyone wants a day off.

Last week, he had three and didn’t like a single minute of it.

“[It’s] completely different, kind of eerie,” Palmer said of not throwing a pass in practice leading up to the St. Louis game because of a sore throwing elbow. “I didn’t enjoy it. It’s not enjoyable.

“When you are practicing, you are always looking at the guys that aren’t practicing and you are jealous. But then, when you are the guy standing on the sidelines, you want to actually be out there. You kind of get stuck in that, ‘Well, I wish I wasn’t, but I wish I was.”

It was the first time Palmer had missed a week of practice in his career and if he and Cardinals coach Bruce Arians had their way, it’ll be the last time. During the open portion of practice Wednesday, Palmer threw a few soft passes but was limited, despite him saying his arm is “better.”

Arians will "monitor” Palmer this week but wants the quarterback to start throwing again. As to what’s exactly wrong, Arians said Monday he wasn’t quite sure of the specific terminology and simply called it a “sore elbow.”

He admitted Monday he was skeptical when Palmer didn’t take any live reps, but the quarterback used mental reps to get ready.

“Having not been around a guy, yeah, I was very curious to see how it was going to affect him,” Arians said.

Clearly it didn't and not practicing may have actually had its benefits. Palmer finished Sunday’s 30-10 win over the Rams with the highest completion percentage of his career, 84.38 percent, narrowly topping his performance in Week 11 of the 2007 season, 84.21 percent.

Palmer doesn’t want to make a habit out of not practicing and then putting up gaudy numbers. He likes the everyday routine that only quarterbacks go through.

“Seven-on-seven, routes on air, all those things are enjoyable for a quarterback,” Palmer said. “It’s a lot different if you are the left guard and putting on a helmet and shoulder pads because you actually need to use them. I enjoy practice."

Arians believes rest this late in the season can help a quarterback -- and it apparently has -- but Palmer said he’s ready to get back under center again.

“Missing practice is a big deal for a quarterback,” Palmer said. “I enjoy practice. It’s fun. I don’t have to hit anybody. I don’t have to tackle anybody. Hand the ball off a couple times, throw the ball around. I don’t enjoy missing practice but I’m going to go out and do a little more than I did last week.”