Quarterback Derek Anderson took some hits against the Rams, but rallied to bring the Cardinals back to a victory in St. Louis.
It cost the Cardinals a timeout, but Derek Anderson wasn't coming out of the game Sunday.
And the massive hit he took to the chest, the one that momentarily sent him to the ground and forced that timeout? In light of the Cards' win, "it's well worth it," Anderson said.
For anyone looking for reasons why Anderson emerged as the starting quarterback for the Cards, that sequence may just crystallize the thought process.
"There is a mentality with our offensive line about being tough and when our quarterback does what he did, they will obviously rally around him and work to protect him," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "That's a good thing. What I liked the best is how he responded and made plays at the end."
Anderson came back on the play after getting hit and found Steve Breaston for a 22-yard completion on third-and-16. A play like that – and the way Anderson mentally put aside his struggles to complete 6-of-7 passes on the game-winning touchdown drive – are the things that win over a coach and teammates.
Big hits are "something that comes with the position," Anderson said. "I'm alright."
Besides, after finally winning the starting quarterback job, surrendering his spot – even for one play – doesn't appeal to Anderson.
"I told (backup) Max (Hall), I'm never going to hang him out to dry," Anderson said. "I'm never going to just say, 'It hurts too bad, I have to come out.' They are going to have to pull me out."
Exactly what would it take to have that happen? "I hope we don't find out," Whisenhunt said.
THE NEW OLD FULLBACK
The Cardinals brought back fullback Reagan Maui'a Tuesday to replace one-week starter Jerome Johnson. Maui'a is in his third stint with the Cards, having been cut at the end of 2009's training camp, at the beginning of this year's training camp, and then -- after being brought back -- cut again after the preseason.
Johnson was picked up on waivers, leading to Maui'a's most recent release.
"I just think Jerome did a good job but he didn't have a lot of experience at the position," Whisenhunt said. "There were a couple of plays where that position needed to make the adjustment and (Johnson) didn't have the feel for it. We just don't have time to develop him so you go back to what you know and live with that."
ROBERTS -- OR BREASTON -- AS RETURNER?
Whisenhunt said rookie Andre Roberts is ready to compete with fellow rookie Max Komar as punt returner. Komar fumbled twice in the role last weekend (although he recovered both). Roberts had rehabbed from an injured shoulder.
"That's definitely something we will consider," Whisenhunt said of Roberts. "He has shown in practice he's back to full speed."
Steve Breaston tweeted this in the afternoon too: "This week will I 'return'??? hmmmm." Given the Cards' thin receiving corps, however, risking Breaston as punt returner may not be Whisenhunt's choice.
Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information
Dennis Gardeck Headed In Right Direction With Rehab
Linebacker making comeback from ACL tear in Week 15
Kelvin Beachum: 'I'm Still Learning' About Juneteenth
Cardinals lineman writes about holiday's history in hometown
After Substantial Progress, Cardinals' Defense Wants More
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph proved accurate in promising improvement
Cardinals' Offensive Line Handled The Pressure
Group allowed hurry probability of only 7.2 percent in 2020, per NextGenStats tracking data
Kingsbury: Cardinals Have Been 'Overly-Educated' About COVID-19 Vaccine
Cardinals coach unsure about percentage of his players who are vaccinated
Ready Or Not, Zaven Collins' Time Is Coming
Rookie middle linebacker attempting to learn defense quickly
You've Got Mail: Seven Weeks To Training Camp
Topics include CB2, Kyler Murray's immediate future and Chandler Jones
Top Takeaways From The Cardinals' 2021 Offseason
In shortened offseason, team younger at inside linebacker, Watt impact felt
Kyler Murray's Legs Can't Shoulder The Whole Load
Cardinals' offense suffered when quarterback ran less due to injury
Robert Alford Hoping Third Time Charm As Cardinals' Cornerback
Season-ending injuries have cost veteran two full years in Arizona