Stanton will start in place of Carson Palmer (concussion) for Thursday's contest at San Francisco, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. The NFL's protocol for head injuries exists to protect players from returning too soon, and without clearance from an independent neurologist -- let alone an appearance in practice this week -- Palmer won't make the trip to the Bay Area. Consequently, Stanton will handle quarterback duties for the Cardinals in Week 5, as he did in eight starts during the 2014 campaign. Stanton didn't exactly prosper, though, completing 55 percent of his passes, averaging 203 yards per game, and recording a 6:5 TD:INT ratio.
Stanton will likely serve as the Cardinals' starting quarterback Thursday in San Francisco with Carson Palmer (concussion) unlikely to play. In relief of Palmer and the Cardinals seeking a game-winning drive, Stanton wasn't up to the task, completing four of 11 passes for 37 yards and two interceptions. Previously, Stanton started eight games during the 2014 season for Palmer, and while he led the team to five victories, he managed a miserable 54.9 completion percentage, 203.3 passing yards per game, and a 6:5 TD:INT ratio, which translated to a 76.3 quarterback rating.
Stanton will be the Cardinals' No. 2 quarterback, Darren Urban of the team's official site reports. No. 3 quarterback Matt Barkley had a nice showing in Sunday's preseason game against the Texans, but his roster fate will ultimately still depend on whether the Cardinals are willing keep three quarterbacks. Stanton is locked in as Carson Palmer's top backup.
The Cardinals and Stanton agreed to terms of a two-year contract Tuesday, Mark Dalton of the Cardinals' official site reports. Rather than test the open market, the unrestricted free agent will remain in Arizona to serve as Carson Palmer's backup. While he took snaps in seven games last season, Stanton went 5-3 in Palmer's stead in 2014, completing 132 of 240 passes for 1,711 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions. While the production is underwhelming, he appears to be choosing comfort in head coach Bruce Arians' system rather than diving into a new playbook in his age-32 season.
Stanton was 8-for-18 passing for a season-high 84 yards and two interceptions in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks. Because Carson Palmer remained upright this season, Stanton was barely utilized, throwing a combined seven passes and recording numerous kneel downs in six outings prior to the season finale. However, Stanton made a surprise appearance on the Cardinals' first drive after halftime, and head coach Bruce Arians revealed that an exchange of Palmer for Stanton was the plan all along in a postgame press conference. This matchup with the Seahawks didn't include numerous fist pumps and a rockette-esque kick from Stanton, as the Cardinals' offense sputtered to a measly 110 yards, two punts, and a pair of picks with the nine-year veteran under center. After two weeks to prepare for a divisional round contest, Palmer will usurp Stanton when the Cardinals next take the field on Jan. 16.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||54.5||605||2||2||17||0||35|