And the quarterback carousel continues to turn with the Arizona Cardinals.
Rookie Ryan Lindley, a sixth-round draft pick out of San Diego State, was named the team’s starter for their game against the St. Louis Rams by head coach Ken Whisenhunt Wednesday.
Lindley becomes the fifth starting quarterback the Cardinals have used since Kurt Warner retired following the 2009 season. Whisenhunt inserted Lindley into last Sunday’s 23-19 loss at Atlanta with the Cardinals leading 13-3, but struggling on offense.
“It won’t hurt, that’s for sure,” Whisenhunt said of the change in the starting position. “He’s done a good job in what we’ve asked him to do, even with limited reps. We’ll get an opportunity to get him better prepared and see how it plays out in the game.”
Lindley didn’t exactly light the world on fire when he got his shot in Atlanta, completing 9-of-20 passes for 64 yards. He didn’t throw any interceptions, but did commit a fumble (even though it was a questionable call) that led to a Falcons’ touchdown. But Whisenhunt was still pleased with what the young signal caller did in his first pro action.
“He did a nice job of handling the offense, going in there in a hostile situation with the noise and being able to make the calls,” he said. “There didn’t seem to be any struggles on his part. I mean, the speed of the game, getting used to that, being able to be comfortable with the offense and make the reads and the throws, he’s done a nice job with that.”
Lindley will face a Rams defense that had its way with the Cardinals in the first meeting between the two teams. St. Louis sacked then-starter Kevin Kolb nine times and held the Cardinals out of the end zone in a 17-3 win last month.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity, it’s a blessing,” Lindley said. “I’m going to put 110% into it and make sure I’m ready to go on Sunday.”
Meanwhile, John Skelton has now lost the starting job twice this season — once to injury and once to ineffectiveness. Whisenhunt said the third-year pro’s attitude has been positive despite the demotion.
“He’s disappointed because he wants to play,” Whisenhunt said. “He’s been good. He was good during the game and he was good out here (Wednesday).”