CINCINNATI – Quarterback Carson Palmer considers his throwing elbow fully healed as he begins offseason workouts with his Cincinnati Bengals teammates.
Palmer chose not to have reconstructive surgery for a partially torn ligament and tendon in his right elbow, which sidelined him for 12 games last season. Instead, he decided to see whether rest would heal the injury.
Before beginning voluntary workouts Monday, Palmer said he is back to his usual throwing routine because the elbow is fine. The team plans to limit his throwing during preseason workouts as a precaution.
“I was timid at first,” Palmer said of his decision to rest the elbow instead of having surgery. “I was kind of going against a bunch of doctors and relying on one and what he said, and it turned out he was right.
“It’s 100 percent and I’m healthy and I’m happy. Had I gone the other way, I don’t know when I’d be able to throw again, but it wouldn’t be now.”
Palmer has been throwing three times a week near his home in southern California. Several of the Bengals’ young receivers have joined him for the sessions, including Jerome Simpson, a second-round draft pick last year.
“I saw that old Carson Palmer I used to look at when I was younger,” Simpson said. “He has that strong arm, and he’s just throwing the ball around and having fun. There was some zip on it. He overthrew me one time, and I hadn’t seen that for a long time. I was surprised, but it showed me he’s getting back to the old Carson now.”
Palmer’s younger brother, Jordan, is a backup Bengals quarterback and worked out with him at the sessions in California.
Jordan Palmer was reminded of how his brother overcame injuries in the past, including a severe knee injury in the 2005 playoffs that required reconstructive surgery. Palmer left knee was hurt on his first pass in a playoff loss to Pittsburgh, but he didn’t miss any games in 2006.
“It’s in his nature,” Jordan Palmer said. “And that’s why he’s the man. He’s ready to roll, and I think he’ll be back and stronger than ever. I think he’s really excited about this year. It was important for him to come into it healthy, and that’s where he is now.”
49ers nab OT Smith
SAN FRANCISCO – After the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t welcome back Marvel Smith this winter, the veteran offensive tackle decided he’d continue his career near his most faithful supporters.
Smith agreed to a two-year deal Monday to return to his native Bay Area with the San Francisco 49ers, who expect him to be their starting right tackle.
Smith spent nine years as a stalwart on the Steelers’ line, starting 108 regular-season games and earning two Super Bowl rings, but he felt like an afterthought in Pittsburgh when injuries limited him to 17 games over the past two seasons.
He missed all but the first five games of last year’s run to the NFL title with a back injury that required surgery in late November, and the Steelers didn’t want him back this season.
Saints keep Harrington
METAIRIE, La. – The New Orleans Saints have re-signed backup quarterback Joey Harrington.
Harrington, who is entering his eighth season, first signed with the Saints early in the 2008 season.
Texans sign DT Cody
HOUSTON – The Houston Texans have signed free agent defensive tackle Shaun Cody.
Cody has spent his entire four-year career with the Detroit Lions, who drafted him in the second round in 2005. A career backup, he appeared in each game for the Lions last season with four starts and finished with a career-high 36 tackles.