Carson Palmer says Jared Goff can learn much by not playing right away

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 18.
(Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

Carson Palmer was the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NFL draft out of USC, so the Arizona Cardinals quarterback knows something about what Rams rookie Jared Goff is experiencing.

Palmer did not play his entire rookie season before he became the starter in 2004.

While rookies such as Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott are starting, Goff, the No. 1 pick in the draft, has not played. He is the backup for veteran Case Keenum, who has helped lead the Rams to a 2-1 record that puts them at the top of the NFC West heading into Sunday’s division game at Arizona.


“There’s such a fine line between throwing a guy in there, making him play ... and he knows he’s going to go in and struggle because the team’s not good like some guys have been,” Palmer said Wednesday during a conference call. “The Rams are different. That’s a very good team. They don’t need to throw a rookie in there and him learn on the run and the team suffer.

“They’ve got a veteran who has the team at the top of the division.”

Goff struggled during the exhibition season. Coach Jeff Fisher made him inactive for the opener against the San Francisco 49ers and then elevated him to No. 2 on the depth chart against Seattle and Tampa Bay.

“I just think every situation is so different, every team is so different and every organization is so different,’ Palmer said. “The head coach makes the decision about what’s best for the team. And, obviously, he thinks it’s best for the team for Jared to sit and watch and learn.”

Palmer said there was much to gain from waiting before playing.

“You have a chance to watch how you prepare as a starter, how you go about your business as a starter, especially if you’re coming from a very non pro-style offense,” he said. “Seeing how offenses prepare, seeing the different pressures you’re going to see and the different defenses you’re going to see.

“It’s tough if you’re not ready and you get thrown in there. If you struggle it can linger, so I think it’s important.”

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