Gabbert will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. Following the retirements of quarterback Carson Palmer and head coach Bruce Arians, the Cardinals are starting from scratch from a scheme standpoint, which will be dictated by whoever GM Steve Keim brings in to replace Arians. As such, the quarterback room will have a different look from 2017, with Arians' favorite and unrestricted free agent Drew Stanton (torn ACL) almost certainly out of the picture. Gabbert could be in the same boat after an uninspiring run as Arizona's starting QB for five games this season. Overall, he completed just 55.6 percent of his throws for 1,086 yards and six touchdowns versus six interceptions. The 28-year-old will learn of his fate at some point in the coming months.
Drew Stanton will replace Gabbert as the starter for Week 16 against the Giants. Gabbert showed some promise with five touchdown passes in his first two starts, but he's thrown just one touchdown while taking 20 sacks over the past three games. While the supporting cast has obviously been a huge issue, it's still difficult to put a silver lining on his 55.6 completion percentage, 6:6 TD:INT ratio and league-worst 11.9 percent sack rate (min. 50 attempts). Stanton probably won't be much better, but he also can't possibly be much worse. The Cardinals entered the season with shaky pass-catching depth behind Larry Fitzgerald, and they've now seen both their offensive line and backfield get decimated by injuries.
Gabbert completed 22 of 38 passes for 241 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, adding six carries for 17 yards in Sunday's 27-24 win over the Jaguars. Gabbert avoided sacks and turnovers all game until the Jags came through with a strip-sack for a touchdown to take a 17-16 lead early in the fourth quarter. Gabbert immediately bounced back with a pair of first downs on the ground, followed by a 52-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Jaron Brown and a two-point conversion to Larry Fitzgerald. The 28-year-old quarterback tossed a pick on the next drive, but Blake Bortles returned the favor, and the Cardinals ultimately ended up winning on Phil Dawson's 57-yard field goal. Despite his crucial late-game mistakes, Gabbert probably did enough to keep the starting job for Week 13 against the Rams, having led the Cardinals to victory against what's arguably the best defense in the league.
Gabbert will get another start Week 12 against the Jaguars, Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official site reports. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians did leave the door open to switch back to Drew Stanton in Week 13, saying that the veteran quarterback's sprained knee was a factor in the decision. Given that Stanton was available as the backup in Sunday's 31-21 loss to Houston, it would seem the Cardinals' desire to evaluate Gabbert is the larger factor. Sitting at 4-6 in a tough conference, Arizona probably needs to win out to have a shot at the playoffs. Picking up a win against a Jacksonville team with a dominant pass defense will be a tough enough task on its own.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim sounded like he wants to see Gabbert get another start, according to Darren Urban of the team's official website. Keim didn't actually provide anything concrete, other than saying that head coach Bruce Arians will make the final decision on whether Gabbert or Drew Stanton (knee) gets the start in Week 12 against the Jaguars. Common sense dictates it will be Gabbert, who completed 22 of 34 passes for 257 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in Sunday's 31-21 road loss to Houston. The defeat essentially crushed any hopes for a playoff appearance, and Cardinals brass previously had hinted that Gabbert could be the long-term replacement for Carson Palmer (arm). Regardless of which quarterback gets the starting nod, Arizona's offense doesn't figure to have much success in a brutal matchup with the red-hot Jaguars.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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