CINCINNATI - Carson Palmer didn't bother to watch the Pro Bowl last February.
Instead, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback spent the day attending to the knee injury that had ended his playoffs after one pass and prevented him from attending that game in Hawaii.
Against all odds, he's getting another chance one year later.
Palmer is one of three Bengals picked again this week for the Pro Bowl, the final touch on a comeback that has surpassed expectations. Less than a year after his knee was rebuilt, Palmer is again ranked among the NFL's best.
“It's definitely rewarding,” Palmer said Wednesday. “I'll find it far more rewarding if we get past Denver and Pittsburgh and get to the playoffs. I'm definitely honored. Until I get there and actually get the Pro Bowl uniform - I'll know what it's like and I'll have a different feeling, I'm sure.”
Palmer was still dejected on Wednesday, two days after a 34-16 loss in Indianapolis knocked the Bengals back into the pack of wild card contenders. Cincinnati is in a four-way tie at 8-6 heading into a make-or-break game at Denver (8-6) followed by a game at home against Pittsburgh.
Palmer didn't fully participate in practice Wednesday because of a sore throwing shoulder, but was expected to do all the passing drills on Thursday. It's the first time he has been on the team's injury report this season.
He was sacked four times and hit hard several other times on Monday night. The Bengals said there was nothing structurally wrong with the shoulder.
Palmer said he was fine, except for the leftover feeling that he hadn't played up to expectations.