Cardinals' Carson Palmer will return to full QB activities in Tuesday minicamp

PHOENIX -- Carson Palmer is cleared and ready for his first live 11-on-11 action of the offseason.

The Arizona Cardinals' veteran quarterback said he'll take his first 11-on-11 snaps against a live defense during Tuesday's minicamp.

"I'm ready. I'm excited. I'm 100 percent. I'm cleared," Palmer told ESPN. "I can do everything. I've tested out. Gotten stronger every week, every month, just ready to get going."

Palmer said he "actually was cleared weeks ago" but was held out of 11-on-11 drills by forces beyond his control.

"It has nothing to do with me," he said.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was cautious with Palmer during three weeks of organized team activities, sitting the 35-year-old during 11-on-11 drills that featured a blitzing Cardinals defense.

Arians justified his decision by saying he didn't trust the rookies to be careful around Palmer's reconstructed left knee. Palmer tore his left ACL in Week 10 last season.

Toward the end of OTAs, Palmer began practicing in 11-on-11 situations against a defense that didn't rush him.

But Palmer said he's not worried about a rookie being overly aggressive and accidentally taking him out because "it's a tough team to make and guys are doing what they can."

He said he understands they're most likely not thinking about his knee.

"That's life," Palmer said. "That's the job. I don't think much about it.

"That wasn't me saying I'm worried about somebody else. That was the trainers and the surgeon and the doctors and PTs and all that. I don't think twice about it."

He has been lobbying Arians and the doctors, albeit unsuccessfully, to get more 11-on-11 snaps for a while. But, since at least January, Arians has said Palmer could return for minicamp. So Palmer circled Tuesday on his calendar.

It's finally here, and Palmer feels better than he ever has.

"I feel great," he said. "I probably never worked this hard in my life and I've always worked hard. I feel as fast as I've ever been, as quick as I've ever been, I'm stronger than I've ever been just because I've been going since late November. So, I feel great. Just looking forward to tomorrow."