The Arizona Cardinals were counting on Carson Palmer to lead them to big things this season, and beyond. After watching their star quarterback get carted off with an injured left knee, they're now just hoping for the best.
Palmer was hurt early in the fourth quarter Sunday, two days after signing a three-year contract extension worth a reported $50 million with $20.5 guaranteed. Minus him, Arizona rallied past St. Louis 31-14 and improved the NFL's top record to 8-1.
''We don't know anything about Carson's injury or the length, whatever it is yet,'' coach Bruce Arians said.
''It is obviously a knee,'' he said. ''He will be evaluated and get an MRI and everything and we will know something by tomorrow and hopefully by Tuesday.''
Palmer, who turns 35 next month, seemed to hurt himself while planting his leg trying to avoid a sack. He walked off the field, stumbled on the sideline and was driven to the locker room.
Palmer missed three games earlier this season with a damaged nerve in his throwing shoulder. In the playoffs for Cincinnati in January 2006, he sustained a severe injury to the same knee and needed surgery, but returned to start the opener the next season.
Elsewhere, Kansas City backup running back Cyrus Gray will miss the rest of the season after tearing a knee ligament. Also a special teams player, Gray was hurt in a 17-13 win at Buffalo.
New York Giants reserve running back Peyton Hillis, Jacksonville wide receiver Allen Hurns and New Orleans backup running back Edwin Baker all exited because of concussions. Baker was injured while on punt coverage.
Hillis had one carry and made a tackle on kickoff coverage before leaving at the end of the first quarter. The injury left the Giants short at running back - Rashad Jennings didn't travel to Seattle, making Andre Williams the starter. After Hillis left, Michael Cox was the only other active running back, and he was helped off the field after hurting his left leg.
Seattle defensive tackle Brandon Mebane pulled a hamstring in the first half of a 38-17 win over the Giants and didn't return. It could be a big loss for the Seahawks' run defense with Mebane arguably having his best season as a pro.
''Don't know how serious yet. But that's a big man to pull a hammy,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ''Can you imagine how big his hamstring is?''
Seattle also lost tight end Luke Willson to a sprained ankle in the second quarter. He was wearing sweats when he returned to the sideline in the second half.
Miami offensive lineman Branden Albert was carted off the field in the second quarter of a 20-16 loss at Detroit because of an injured right knee. Dolphins cornerback Cortland Finnegan went down with an ankle injury.
Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall left the loss at Green Bay in the fourth quarter with a left ankle injury.
Lions offensive lineman Larry Warford left in the first quarter after hurting his left knee. He has started every game since Detroit picked him in the third round of the 2013 draft.
Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden left a 41-17 loss to Denver because of a groin injury and right tackle left because of a head injury. St. Louis lost safety Lamarcus Joyner in the first half to a groin injury.
Saints starting cornerback Keenan Lewis was carted from the sideline shortly before halftime because of an injured left quadriceps, and the team said he would miss the rest of the game. But he later returned in a 27-24 overtime loss to San Francisco.
Niners nose tackle Ian Williams had a leg injury and receiver Bruce Ellington injured his ankle in the first half.
There was a frightening injury in Baltimore, too, when a Ravens cheerleader was thrown in the air and hit the ground doing a routine during a game against Tennessee.
The woman, whom the team declined to identify, was carted off the field and treated at a hospital for head, back and neck injuries. The team said the woman later was cleared to leave, walked out under her own power and was recuperating at home.
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