There has been nothing official yet on who is starting quarterback for the Cardinals Sunday — it wouldn’t be surprising to have Bruce Arians say something after practice — but everything has pointed toward Drew Stanton all week. It seemed fait accompli Thursday when Carson Palmer talked about being frustrated and not having any timetable on the wonky nerve in his throwing shoulder and it was underscored Friday, when Palmer wasn’t even on the practice field for the portion open to the media as the Cardinals went through their last workout of the week.
UPDATE: It’s official. Stanton will start in Denver, Arians said.
This isn’t about the Broncos game, though, not when Palmer wasn’t doing anything as early as Monday. The regression was apparent at that point. Going forward, though, the questions grow. The answers aren’t all black and white, but in reality, this is about patience.
— Stanton has done fine as the starter. He won’t be the starter when Palmer returns, but he’s the guy now. It’s been suggested the job could weigh on him more as time goes on and he is seen as “The Guy” while Palmer recovers, but I don’t see that with Drew. I think there is a reason he hasn’t been a starter in the league for long-term, but I also think the confidence Bruce Arians has in him isn’t just coach-speak for the public.
— One heartbeat away is Logan Thomas, a guy who frankly, the Cardinals were not/are not planning to play this season. What happens if Stanton goes down? It’d be a story, for sure. And given the teams on the schedule, maybe not a story with a happy ending. But in what little work he is getting, the coaches sound optimistic. (Practices have been closed since the start of the regular season, so I can’t give you a first-person evaluation of Thomas’ progress.)
“He’s much more accurate,” Arians said. “When he was taking reps last week he was good with the football. He had a couple of interceptions, but they were balls that bounced off of people’s hands — the hot balls that they weren’t used to catching. But he was on time where he was supposed to be, and it was very refreshing to see, having not gotten any reps.”
That may be more about where Thomas is going in a year or two rather than if he were suddenly pushed into service now, but it’s better than going backward.
— Arians simply said “no” to whether the Cardinals have an emergency quarterback. God forbid it came to that anyway. Maybe Ted Ginn? He did throw a nice pass to Michael Floyd.
— The way this is playing out, and the way Palmer reiterated Thursday how it’s about wait-and-see, I don’t see the Cardinals going to get another QB. That only happens if Palmer goes to IR-return-later, and given this day-to-day situation, I don’t know if the team would be willing to pull such a trigger. I don’t see them adding a fourth QB to the 53-man roster either. If it ever did come to bringing someone in, Ryan Lindley — still on the Chargers’ practice squad — makes sense to me. Knows the system, fits in the QB room, comfortable with everyone. But again, I don’t know if it’s ever going to come to that.
— Palmer is confident this injury isn’t season-threatening, which is good — although if it’s impossible to tell how long it will take to “wake up,” as he keeps putting it, I’m not sure how you can be sure. Regardless, the idea that Palmer is for some reason being soft or not wanting to really play — and yes, those things have been suggested to me by fans multiple times — is ridiculous.
It’s about being patient, because there is really no other option.
Tags: Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Logan Thomas
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