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Drew Stanton Practices, Blaine Gabbert Waits

Posted Nov 14, 2017

Cardinals still sorting out quarterback situation heading into Texans game

Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton scrambles away from the rush last week against Seattle.

There was no official injury report for the Cardinals Tuesday, but that didn’t stop Bruce Arians from giving one, particularly about his starting quarterback.

“He’s one of the guys who practiced,” Arians said when asked the status of Drew Stanton. “He practiced. He practiced.”

That doesn’t mean Stanton, who hurt his right knee on a low hit by Seattle’s Sheldon Richardson last Thursday, will be able to play Sunday in Houston. But it doesn’t mean he won’t either.

Earlier in the day, General Manager Steve Keim said during his appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 Stanton “is the type of guy I would not bet against.” Arians had similar praise for Stanton’s toughness.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve seen him gut it up like that,” Arians said. “He’s off the charts. That’s why his teammates love him.”

Stanton is scheduled to meet the media Wednesday. Blaine Gabbert wasn’t in the locker room during the session open to media following Arians’ press conference.

If Stanton can’t play, Gabbert would get the start. Matt Barkley was signed as a third quarterback to be a potential short-term backup. The number one thing Arians said he needed to see from Stanton for him to play? The ability and mobility to be able to get out of harm’s way. That was something Stanton was able to do against the Seahawks, playing the whole game despite getting hurt at the end of the first quarter.

The injury did impact Stanton on a few throws, Arians said, most notably a crucial downfield miss to John Brown in which the knee “gave out on him,” Arians said.

In the meantime, Gabbert will be getting an increase in first-team reps to prepare for the Texans. Arians also said there will be an effort to get Barkley some work too, in case.

“There’s nothing like getting first-team reps,” Arians said. “Drew knows so much, he can let Blaine have a bunch. That part has really helped his progression, especially in blitz drills.”

The Texans have had their own quarterback injury problems. Star rookie Deshaun Watson, who began the season on the bench but came on to light up the scoreboard soon after, is out with a torn ACL suffered in practice. Tom Savage, the struggling veteran who was the team’s initial starter this year, plays there now.

With Savage starting, the Texans have scored one offensive touchdown in each of the last two games. Watson had thrown 19 touchdown passes in his seven games. The Texans lost to the Rams, 33-7, Sunday.

“To be honest, it’s on the quarterback when we put up seven points,” Savage said after the game. “It’s on me.”

It’s certainly not the first time the Cardinals have dealt with a quarterback injury this season – Carson Palmer is on IR with a broken arm – and as they did with Stanton, the team is prepared to rally around Gabbert as well.

“He’s our quarterback, we believe in him,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “I thought he did a great job in camp. Obviously whenever you play a quarterback that can use their legs, it adds an extra dimension. Hopefully he’s ready to go, and we’ll be encouraging him and try and give him the confidence he needs to go out and play football.”

Tuesday was a “bonus” practice day, and Stanton – who was seen jogging out to the start of practice without a limp – still has the rest of the week to heal. If it is Gabbert who plays, Arians said he thinks the QB is “real comfortable.”

“If he’s our guy,” Arians added, “then I’m extremely comfortable.”

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