Stanton won't be available for Thursday's Hall of Fame Game against the Cowboys, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. Head coach Bruce Arians is giving the elder statesmen of the QB room (Stanton and starter Carson Palmer) the night off, thereby giving Blaine Gabbert an opportunity to display his knowledge of the offense. Stanton is in a pseudo competition with Gabbert for the backup role, but with four years in the system, the former would likely only lose the spot if Gabbert impresses thoroughly in the preseason.
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 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.
Stanton completed his sole pass for six yards and recorded three carries for minus-three yards in Sunday's win at St. Louis. When Stanton records such a line, Carson Palmer has directed a convincing victory while avoiding injury, which has so far occurred three times this season. No matter how often Stanton appears, all is well in the Arizona desert as long as his cameos are brief.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/22||@Los Angeles Rams||18||18.00|
|9||11/05||@San Francisco 49ers||25||22.33|
|13||12/03||Los Angeles Rams||18||18.00|
|16||12/24||New York Giants||23||21.17|
|3 Year Avg||51.9||669||3||3||16||0||42|