The Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback carousel is back in motion after the team lost its sixth consecutive game on Sunday to the Atlanta Falcons.
After John Skelton missed Larry Fitzgerald on a post-corner route in the end zone following an Atlanta turnover, head coach Ken Whisenhunt turned to rookie sixth-round pick Ryan Lindley.
Fox NFL Analyst Daryl Johnston told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Monday he was not surprised Whisenhunt had seen enough of Skelton, who went 2-of-7 for just six yards, with the botched throw to Fitzgerald sealing his fate.
But at this point, Johnston feels the team can’t go back to their beleaguered quarterback after making such a bold move.
“When you do that, I’ve always believed that you’ve gotten to the point when ‘I make this change, I’m staying with it’. You can’t go back and forth with the quarterback position and we’ll have to wait and see how Kevin Kolb does returning to the field,” Johnston said.
Lindley, who started the season third on the Cardinals’ depth chart at quarterback, went 9-for-20 for 64 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions against the Falcons. While, he certainly didn’t set the football world on fire in his debut, Johnston didn’t see any reason the 23-year-old rookie shouldn’t get the start next week against the Rams.
“[Lindley] just missed one time Andre Roberts and one time Larry Fitzgerald on the deep throw,” Johnston said. “So I don’t know how much time he had at practice during the course of the bye week. I don’t know many reps he took during that time, but he managed the game okay.”
The young signal caller did have a turnover on a sack by Falcons’ defensive end John Abraham, but Johnston said he has seen that from a number of seasoned quarterbacks and Lindley’s play-calling ultimately didn’t harm the Cardinals.
“He didn’t make a critical decision where he had an interception that really hurt Arizona,” Johnston stated.
Johnston said the ongoing struggle for the Cardinals’ coaching staff has been finding some offensive stability. The team wasted a brilliant defensive effort against Atlanta where they forced six turnovers, including five Matt Ryan interceptions.