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Arians says he probably should have sat Palmer in Week 17

Bruce Arians, Carson Palmer

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, right, talks to quarterback Carson Palmer (3) in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saintsin New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)


Cardinals coach Bruce Arians insisted after the NFC Championship Game that Carson Palmer’s finger injury is not the reason Arizona lost. Nevertheless, Arians wishes he had kept Palmer healthier.

Arians now says he probably should have held Palmer out of the season finale against the Seahawks, to keep Palmer as healthy as possible heading into the playoffs.

Of course, that’s hindsight: Going into that game, the Cardinals still had a chance of overtaking the Panthers for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. So while the Cardinals now wish they hadn’t played Palmer, there was no way to know in advance that it would have been the better choice.

Arians added that Palmer’s decision to sit out the Pro Bowl is “the right thing to do” because “you don’t need to take a chance with it.” The Pro Bowl has become a game that players skip to stay healthy, and Arians is wishing he’d treated Week 17 that way as well.