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Carson Palmer says Bruce Arians' health scare can help toughen Cardinals

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Posted at 11:54 AM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 20:59:22-04

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is resting up at the team's hotel in San Diego on Wednesday after he was admitted to a hospital for stomach pain Tuesday evening, causing him to miss his team's practice at Qualcomm Stadium.

Arians briefly addressed the media Wednesday. He said he has been diagnosed with a diverticulitis and plans to attend practice Wednesday evening.

Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said he and the team were relieved to hear Arians is doing better, but he's sure the Cards' fourth-year head coach was none too pleased about being hospitalized.

"The one thing our guys in that locker room know is he's as tough as anyone in that locker room," Palmer said Wednesday morning. "I'm sure he was saying, 'I'm good, I'm good, I'm fine,' and trying to jump out of the bed and get to the field. But just to know he's back and resting is great news."

The Cardinals are in San Diego this week for a pair of joint practices with the Chargers before they face each other in Friday's preseason game at Qualcomm Stadium. That game will begin at 5:30 p.m. on ABC15.

"It's just another obstacle to get over. It's good in that aspect."

Palmer said the team said a quick prayer for Arians after they heard the news Tuesday night before carrying on with business as usual during practice -- even though their coach's absence was certainly felt. 

"Being the kind of leader he is, you adapt to the style of your head coach, and he's an easy guy to follow," he said.

Adverse circumstances always pop up during the NFL season. Palmer understands this better than anyone: He guided the Cardinals to a 9-1 start in 2014 before an ACL tear ended his season and derailed the Cards' Super Bowl chances.

But in that way, Palmer said Arians' absence and the team's concerns about his well-being could serve to make the Cards a stronger unit heading into regular-season play.

"As much as it stinks, as hard as it is, it's just another obstacle to get over. It's good in that aspect," he said.

"You've gotta deal with adversity. You don't know what's gonna happen. An injury happens to a player, an injury happens to a coach, you've gotta block it out and focus on the task at hand and each play by play. It's good to have some opportunities where you lose a guy and someone's gotta step up. That happened to our coaching staff yesterday and that's the first time that's happened for us."

Palmer said Tuesday night's circumstances served as a humbling reminder that no one is immune from illness or injury -- even if the fiery, competitive Arians probably wasn't happy about being away from his team.

"None of us are invincible. None of us can stay away from injuries. Injuries happen. Coaches get sick," he said.

"But like I said, I can just picture him in the hospital, them having to strap him down to a table with him trying to pull an IV out, pull the oxygen out of his nose, whatever it was, because I know it was hard for him to have to miss that practice."