TEMPE, Ariz. — Monday, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians announced Logan Thomas would start Sunday’s regular season finale in San Francisco against the 49ers as the team looks to win its 12th game of the season.
It was a bit of a surprise, given how just a week earlier Arians had chosen Ryan Lindley as the starter in place of the injured Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton, saying he thought Thomas was going to be a great player but that, “sometimes you can put guys in positions to fail; I want him to succeed when he plays.”
But at the same time, it made some sense after Lindley struggled mightily in Arizona’s 35-6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, completing just 18-of-44 passes for 216 yards with one interception.
However, Arians added he would have a “quick hook” with Thomas if things did not go well, and Thursday Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports reported that after seeing a couple of practice sessions, the coach had already made the decision to go back to Lindley.
Arians was not available to the media after practice Thursday, which left offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin to answer questions about the situation.
“No, not really,” he answered when asked if he had any comment. “Guess we’ll see what happens on Sunday.”
We may not have to wait that long, as Arians will talk to the media Friday and it is very likely the topic will come up.
In the meantime, Goodwin said Thomas looked good in practice Thursday, while also complimenting Lindley and practice squad QB Jeff Mathews’ performance.
“We’re going to be OK no matter what,” he said. “It’s a team game so it’s going to take a team effort to win. We didn’t show up as a team last week.”
The unfortunate part of the team’s situation at quarterback is that the more you play, generally the worse off you are. Just two years ago Arizona started four different signal callers, and that team won just five games.
“It’s kind of old hat for me,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said of the revolving door of quarterbacks. “I mean, if it was the first time around it might be surprising, but I’ve gone through it multiple times so I kind of just go with the flow.
“I just try to instill as much confidence I can in the person who’s throwing the football and just try to go out there and fight for him for 60 minutes.”
Fitzgerald was reluctant to compare Thomas and Lindley, though he echoed Goodwin’s sentiment that each passer has looked good in practice.
“They’re throwing the ball real crisp,” he said. “In terms of the assignments and execution of the plays is real good. Both guys did a wonderful job.”
Lindley currently holds the NFL record for most passes thrown without a touchdown at 225, while Thomas completed just 1-of-9 attempts while being sacked twice in a brief Week 4 appearance. There’s no doubt the Cardinals are in an unenviable position having to decide between the third- and fourth-string quarterback.
However, whichever route the coach decides to go, the team will have confidence that it is the right call.
“Oh yeah, most definitely,” receiver Jaron Brown said. “He’s going to put us in the best position to win. And like he said, we’re going into this game to try to get number 12, so for sure.”