Carroll Injury Report: Palmer returns to the field

Updated: August 29, 2006, 2:09 PM ET
By Will Carroll | ESPN Fantasy Games
Roger Goodell said he wasn't worried about HGH in the game. The new commissioner needs a wake-up call and might have received it with the report on the Panthers scandal. Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated incident. The NFL has done well with the public relations side of drug testing, but has done very little to actually combat the problem. In my book, "The Juice," Michael David Smith did a great job of pointing out the problem of performance enhancers in football. Football has always been more advanced than other sports because of the commonalities with weightlifting and bodybuilding. When I heard a couple of scouts look at a 6-3, 305-pound lineman and call him "undersized," I knew there was a problem. Goodell has a chance to take a stand, to make removing performance enhancers from his league a priority, and to keep the NFL in the lead by financing research or even subsidizing drug testing for high school football. The NFL has always had a broad social conscience and, Mr. Goodell, this is the right thing to do.

The latest on the injury news:
Carson Palmer reappeared Monday night, taking the big stage of ESPN's "Monday Night Football" to make his game debut. He didn't look confident in camp and wasn't saying the type of things that made anyone think his mental game was back. On his first preseason play, I could see he was fine. He is wearing a bulky brace, precisely to protect him from defensive linemen trying to twist him to the ground, as we saw in the second quarter. Palmer is back. His reconstructed knee will remain an annoyance, not a problem. The ice pack shown on his knee at the end of the half is to keep swelling down, but we'll have a good indication of how fast he can return when he plays again Friday. Palmer, like Daunte Culpepper, looks to be all the way back, ready to reclaim a spot with the elite QBs and at the top of your fantasy draft boards.

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Will Carroll | email

ESPN Fantasy Games
Will Carroll writes two injury columns per week relating to fantasy football for ESPN.com. Carroll can also be seen on The Fantasy Show Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. He also writes baseball injury articles on www.baseballprospectus.com.

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