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TDBH: Surgeon optimistic Palmer can start season

Posted Jan 11, 2018

This Day in Bengals History - January 12, 2006


Quarterback Carson Palmer, his record-breaking franchise season cut short on the second snap of Sunday’s Wild Card loss to the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium with an ACL injury devastating on so many fronts, leaves a Houston hospital today to return to California to begin rehab. His surgeon, Dr. Lonnie Paulos, thinks Palmer can be ready for the start of the regular season even though he calls the ACL tear “atypical. “The kneecap slipped off to the side and caused some damage," Paulos says. “It's not the usual ACL tear, but we don't believe this is going to be a career-ending injury. Really, it comes down to rehab and determination, and knowing Carson, he's going to do what he has to do."  During the three–hour procedure to repair the ACL as well as the medial collateral ligament, Paulos grafts Palmer's own tissue as well as tissue from organ donors to reconstitute and augment the damaged anatomy in the region between the tibia and femur.   "He's bright, he's committed, you can see it in his eyes," he says.

After watching Steelers defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen’ s hit on Palmer as he throws  a 66-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Henry, Paulos concludes, “"A clean hit … It was an accident. No athlete would ever do something to another athlete like that on purpose." It’s no accident Palmer makes his doctor’s word good. His relentless rehab and the care and feeding of Bengals trainer Paul Sparling and his staff allow him to be on the field in time to start the third pre-season game and the opener in Kansas City as he begins his third full season as the starter.

The pundits say he’s never the same, but the knee is good enough for him to better his ’05 career-highs of 32 TDs and 101.1 passer rating 10 years later in Arizona at age 36 with 35 and 104.6, respectively. And ’06 is plenty worthy with 28 TDs, a 93.9 passer rating, and a start in which he fires six TD passes in the first three games. It’s fitting that all questions are answered (except the ’05 what-if agonizingly unanswered) when he kneels down to end a win in Pittsburgh he fashions with four TD passes against the defending Super Bowl champs to lift the Bengals to 3-0.

 

 

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