Arizona Cardinals QB Ryan Lindley gets start vs Panthers


Drew Stanton misses practice again and is now officially out for the Wild Card matchup against the Carolina Panthers

All week we had a pretty good idea that quarterback Ryan Lindley was going to start for the Arizona Cardinals.  On Thursday, the team made it official after Drew Stanton missed another day of practice.  Stanton needed at least one practice this week in order to participate in Saturday’s Wild Card playoff game against the Carolina Panthers.

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The Cardinals were holding out hope that Stanton could go at least in a backup capacity but that will not happen now.  Logan Thomas will be Ryan Lindley’s backup on Saturday afternoon in Charlotte.

While the outcome of Stanton’s status is not a surprise it still stings a bit knowing that the Cardinals have very little experience standing behind center in the biggest game of the season.  Lindley did improve a bit last week against the San Francisco 49ers in a 20-17 loss, throwing two touchdowns and 316 yards however he still has some trouble reading NFL defenses.

Lindley threw three interceptions last Sunday and quite honestly got away with at least two more that should have been picked off.  It is what it is though and now the Cardinals must rely on a quarterback that started the season on the San Diego Chargers practice squad.

There’s not much of a choice here though when it comes to playoffs.  It’s Lindley or Thomas.  You have to take your chances with Lindley.  Thomas isn’t ready and apparently proved that to head coach Bruce Arians last week in practice after being initially named as the starter for the 49ers game.

Carolina’s defense will be tough though.  They’ve give up 10, 17, 13, and 3 points the past four weeks.  That is not exactly a ringing endorsement for Lindley to have a spectacular day.  You’d like to say the Cardinals could rely on the run game more but that is easier said than done.  Running back Kerwynn Williams did rush for 67 yards last week but after using him and running back Stepfan Taylor early they still gave the ball to Lindley 39 times to air it out.

If the Cardinals can somehow pull this one out in Carolina then there could be a good chance that Stanton would return next week for the divisional playoff game.  One game at a time though.  It would be a nice problem to have if Lindley played well on Saturday against the Panthers.  We can all certainly hope, can’t we?