"This week was good," said Palmer Sunday after the Bengals lost 35-3 at Indianapolis. "I didn't do a whole lot. I didn't throw a ton of balls or really throw 100 percent but, like I've been saying, I've just been going through the rehab process and I'm going to keep working at it. I'm going to keep throwing and throwing and hopefully I'll progress. We'll see how it is day-to-day."
Palmer reported no soreness from his throwing sessions. Prior to this week he had been limited to tossing Nerf footballs as he attempts to come back from a torn ligament in his right elbow. Palmer suffered the injury against the New York Giants on Sept. 21 in a 26-23 overtime loss. Palmer has not played since Oct. 5 at Dallas and has missed nine games total this season.
Palmer had started 52 consecutive games before sitting out Sept. 28 against Cleveland. He had thrown 86 touchdown passes in the previous three years and became the fifth-fastest quarterback in history to reach 100 career touchdown passes when he threw a 52-yard score to Chris Henry at San Francisco last Dec. 15.
This season, Palmer surpassed the 15,000-yard passing mark for his career but has completed just 58.1 percent of his throws (75-of-129) for 731 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has started in Palmer's place but his struggles have mirrored those of the offense and the entire Bengals team, which dropped to 1-11-1 on the season with the loss against the Colts. Fitzpatrick has completed just 59.9 percent of this passes for 1,512 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions. He came into the Indianapolis game ranked 29th out of 32 quarterbacks in the league in passer rating. His rating fell from 68.1 to 66.9 after the loss to the Colts.
Palmer has held out hopes that he might be able to return and play at some point this season but how he progresses with his workouts will ultimately factor into whether or not he undergoes Tommy John surgery in the offseason. So far, doctors have told Palmer he can rehab without surgery.
"Hopefully over this next week we'll throw more and more and maybe start getting some work with the receivers," said Palmer. "I've just got to take it slow and do as the doctors tell me. I've got to go with what the doctors tell I can go with."