Two days after signing a three-year, $50-million contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals, Carson Palmer was carted off the field, presumably lost for the season with what is believed to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Cincinnati Bengals fans can relate.

Ten days after signing a $110-million extension with the Bengals late in 2005, Palmer suffered another particularly cruel injury to the same knee (in a Jan. 8, 2006 playoff game). “We just did the contract, and everybody was on cloud nine,” Coach Bruce Arians told Peter King of MMQB.com. “Now this.”

The injury Palmer suffered Sunday is a devastating one for the Cardinals, who have the NFL’s best record at 8-1, even though Drew Stanton stepped up and hit John Brown with a touchdown pass. Palmer will undergo further tests Monday to determine the severity of the injury Palmer suffered as his knee gave way when he tried to avoid a rush.

“You see a guy, a captain, one of the big leaders on your team, you see him lying down on the ground, we’re human – before Carson is our quarterback, he’s our friend,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said (via AZCardinals.com). “You know his kids, you know his wife, and those are the things your think about.

“Then you look up there on the clock and you look at your teammates and you realize we are on a journey together. There are going to be bumps in the road and you have to be able to weather those rough times.”

Last week, when Arians spoke with King about the “next man up” philosophy, little did he know what would happen to Palmer.

“Injuries happen to everybody. Free-agent losses happen to everybody. I preach and preach and preach, ‘The most valuable player on the team is not Larry Fitzgerald. It’s who’s gonna take his place after Larry Fitzgerald gets hurt.’ It happened to me. I was the next man up,” Arians said. “I was the assistant coach in Indianapolis, and 20 hours after Chuck [Pagano] goes down [with leukemia in 2012] I am running the team. I always tell the Wally Pipp story, even though the players never know who he is, that he’s the guy Lou Gehrig replaced and Wally Pipp could never get his job back. The worst part? They don’t know who Lou Gehrig is.”