As the Arizona Cardinals struggled on offense during a 7-6 loss to the New York Jets Sunday, one question was on the minds of fans watching the game.
Why wasn’t John Skelton put in the game?
The third-year quarterback sat on the sideline and watched rookie Ryan Lindley and the rest of the Cardinals’ offense put up two field goals, five first downs and go 0-for-15 on third down opportunities.
Skelton said Monday he was good to go had head coach Ken Whisenhunt called his number.
“I was ready,” Skelton said. “If it had come to it, I would have been ready.”
Skelton, who started five games this season and has 16 starts in his career, said it was difficult to watch the offensive difficulty and not be able to aid the cause.
“Whenever you’re struggling as an offense and you’re not able to help and you’re not able to contribute, it’s frustrating,” he said. “That’s part of the game; you’re going to have your ups and downs, you’re going to have times when the defense plays lights out, just like they did and you’re going to be helpless to do anything about it.”
Whisenhunt said after the loss that he did think about making a change at quarterback, but stayed with Lindley.
“We talked about it during the course of the game,” Whisenhunt said at his Monday press conference. “But when you’re playing a defense like that, that’s giving you a number of different looks, and how it’s being communicated at the point that you have to make that change, you have to understand is it because the guy in there is not playing well? Because you’re going to lose a lot of what you’ve gone through in the first parts of the game as far as understanding the protections and where their sights are and what the checks are.”
Lindley completed just 10-of-31 passes for 72 yards and an interception in the contest. In the process, according to ESPN Stats and Info, he became just the second quarterback since the AFL merger to attempt more than 30 passes and end up with under 75 yards passing.
More evidence that a change should have been made?
“Whatever the coach feels is the best direction to take the team — I don’t think he’s throwing arrows and then drawing a target around it, I think he’s got his reason behind everything he’s doing, so all you can do is prepare and see what happens.”
Skelton has struggled in his time on the field this season as well, but hopes that his prior performance hasn’t eliminated the possibility of future playing time.
“I’d hope not,” he said. “I understand that we’d lost six or seven in a row and he went with a change, I understand that.
“But I hope there’s nothing I did to deter him from coming back to me.”
Whisenhunt was asked if he’s lost faith in his one-time starter.
“I wouldn’t say that I’ve lost confidence in John’s ability,” he responded.
The head coach did not name a starting quarterback for Sunday’s road game at Seattle.