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John Skelton benched; Cardinals insert rookie QB Ryan Lindley

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Although the Cardinals took a surprising 13-point lead against the Falcons early in Sunday's game -- thanks in large part to three first-quarter interceptions by Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan -- it appears Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt has benched starting quarterback John Skelton.

After missing a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone on a pass that could have allowed the Cardinals to break the game open against the 8-1 Falcons, Whisenhunt has inserted sixth-round pick Ryan Lindley in Skelton's place.

Before he was replaced, Skelton had completed two of seven passes for six yards. Kevin Kolb, who has traded the starter/backup roles with Skelton this season, isn't active while dealing with shoulder and rib injuries.

On Lindley's first career drive, the Falcons forced him to fumble. Though the play looked dead to a number of players -- including Fitzgerald, who ran right past the ball after he apparently thought it was an incomplete pass -- Jonathan Babineaux scooped it up and returned it for the 15-yard touchdown.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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