Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Also speaking of injuries -- Carson Palmer is back!!! I just wrote about my own ACL injuries. Palmer is setting the all-time pace for recovery from reconstructive surgery. There is no way that he has the same speed -- the reaction time in his muscles -- and the strength he had before. There will be constant swelling for months to come. Stability has to be a question because his new ligament is still rebuilding itself at this point. Unless doctors have completely underestimated the length of time it takes for the new ligament to become fully integrated, it's not there yet. Still, with the derotational brace on, the knee may be strong enough to get him through.

Carson Palmer, if you don't know this yet, is the best quarterback in pro football today. Peyton Manning is wonderful, to be sure. Of course, Manning has years of achievement and everybody knows him. But, Carson Palmer is better. Palmer only emerged as a star last year, on a team that remains largely unknown. The Bengals' sudden turnaround last year caught the schedule-makers by surprise, so there was little national attention paid to Bengals' games. Indeed, the first chance most NFL fans had to see Palmer play was last year's playoff against the Steelers. Unfortunately, Palmer was hurt on his first play. It was a helluva way to go out, with a 66 yard touchdown pass. It also showed just what a talented and dominating player Palmer can be. Here's hoping he stays healthy, and has the kind of career his talent indicates is in his future.

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