As the regular season winds down, the Arizona Cardinals seem to be adding to their injury report on a weekly basis. Last week, they lost safety Tyrann Mathieu for the remainder of this season, and potentially part of 2014, because of a devastating knee injury. Mathieu underwent surgery last week to reconstruct his ACL and LCL, and now begins a long road of rehab. The injuries for the Cardinals were less severe in Week 15, but still significant in terms of which players were affected.
Quarterback Carson Palmer sprained his left ankle Sunday, but was able to finish out the game. The ankle injury is on top of the right elbow injury Palmer sustained two weeks ago. Not only is his throwing arm sore, but now Palmer's plant leg has taken a hit. He is expected to continue to play through his injuries, but the combination of less mobility through his legs and a tender elbow could make his job more challenging, especially against a tough Seattle defense. After going into overtime Sunday, Palmer could get a little extra rest to start the week.
Two players who were not on the field during the overtime portion of Sunday's game were wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and running back Andre Ellington. Fitzgerald suffered a concussion very late in the fourth quarter as part of the hands team during an onside kick. Naturally, he will have to go through the team's concussion protocols, but there were a couple of encouraging signs Monday. According to ESPN.com's Josh Weinfuss, Fitzgerald said during his weekly Westwood One radio appearance that he felt better Monday. He also referenced his ImPACT test results (the neurocognitive tests that measure how the brain is processing information), stating his post-concussion numbers were back to matching his baseline results, another positive on the recovery meter. Weinfuss notes that Fitzgerald is scheduled to see a neurologist Tuesday as part of the plan, but is hopeful of playing in Seattle this weekend. His status will depend on how he progresses through increasingly demanding physical workouts and whether there is any return of his original symptoms.
Meanwhile, Ellington, who had a productive day for fantasy owners, sustained a thigh bruise Sunday, which kept him out of the overtime portion of the contest. He downplayed the injury after the game, telling reporters, "I'll be fine." While his optimism is encouraging, it's worth noting that Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams missed a game earlier this season with a similar injury, the result of significant swelling in the area. As long as the tissue trauma to Ellington's thigh was relatively mild, and he is able to run without pain by late in the week, he has a good chance of being able to play by Sunday.