Palmer looking for answers to nerve injury

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is trying anything and everything to awaken the sleeping nerve in his right throwing shoulder.

Palmer has already tried electrical stimulation therapy, ice, massage, acupuncture, dry needling and art machines as healing aids. The most extreme measure, he said, was electrical shock therapy that made Palmer jump with every volt.

None of it has worked, but Palmer and coach Bruce Arians said they see progress every day.

Palmer said that he is averaging about five hours of sleep per night while he’s trying to figure out a solution. He spends his early days and late nights in the Cardinals’ weight room with Arizona’s trainers and coaches. Before Sunday’s game in New York, they worked with Palmer in the hotel pool and hot tub. The rest of his day before and after practice, meetings and film, Palmer has spent looking for a new remedy. On Tuesday, Palmer went from one treatment to another every two-and-a-half hours.

“I’ve been doing a lot of extracurricular activities with people who think they can help,” Palmer said. “I’m going to continue to do that. It’s been very time consuming. It’s been very costly, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”

None of his treatments woke the bruised nerve in time for Sunday’s game, which backup quarterback Drew Stanton helped the Cardinals win 25-14 over the New York Giants.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Palmer said. “I wish I had a concrete answer or somebody knew exactly what to do to wake it up, but that’s not known. It’s just time. The only answer is time, and I’m hoping it doesn’t take any more time.”

The injury occurred in the second quarter of Arizona’s win over the San Diego Chargers in Week 1. Palmer scrambled to his left for 11 yards and took on safety Eric Weddle shoulder first. Palmer bounced right back up and continued to play, finishing with 304 yards and a 64.8 completion percentage.

Palmer said this week he “knew something was going on, just didn’t know what” after the hit.

When the medication he was on during the game wore off, the nerve fell asleep. Palmer said Arizona’s doctors have sent his MRIs for second opinions but he doesn’t plan on seeing doctors not on Arizona’s staff.

The 34-year-old Palmer can’t get a second opinion from a counterpart, either, because he hasn’t found another quarterback who’s had a similar injury.

Palmer won’t let himself think about the possibility of long-term nerve damage, despite it being a real possibility. He’s just taking it day-to-day but he hopes one of those days begins with a re-energized right shoulder.

He’s still in the market for new treatments. Witchcraft was suggested and Palmer seemed open to the idea -- jokingly, of course. Given the uncertainty of the injury, he might just try it -- but he won’t sacrifice a small animals for the good of his shoulder.

“I don’t do that,” he deadpanned. “I’m a dog lover. I definitely won’t do that. I think that’s drawing the line.

“But I’m just on the other side of the line.”