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Avoiding Picks Focus For Drew Stanton

Notebook: Fitzgerald "iffy" to play Sunday, Shaughnessy returns to practice


Quarterback Drew Stanton wants to avoid the interceptions he threw against the Lions -- his first picks of the season.

Bruce Arians has some advice for Drew Stanton the next time he makes a tackle following an interception.

"Get him down first, and then please don't get hurt," Arians said. "Always tackle with your left shoulder."

Even more optimally, the Cardinals coach would prefer his quarterback not throw the picks in the first place.

Stanton looked surprisingly nimble when he took down Lions linebacker Josh Bynes after his first interception on Sunday, but it's

not a sight Arians wants to see. Despite being outgained by their opponents this season, the Cardinals have built their league-best 9-1 record in large part behind a plus-11 turnover ratio, which is tied for second in the NFL.

Stanton threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns in the 14-6 win over Detroit, but what stuck with him were the two interceptions. The first ended a promising Cardinals drive and the second set up a field goal for the Lions before the half. It was the first time this season the Cardinals threw two interceptions in one game.

"Seeing those and why they happened and why they unfolded, obviously, was disappointing," Stanton said.

The Cardinals sometimes have the ability to absorb these mistakes because of their formidable defense. Last year, they sprung the upset of Seattle despite Carson Palmer getting picked four times.

"If you play hard for 60 minutes, you'll have a chance," Arians said.

Still, it's still a dangerous game of chicken.

The Cardinals will return to CenturyLink Field on Sunday, where an aggressive defense awaits. While the Seahawks only have six interceptions on the season, cornerback Richard Sherman led the league in that category last season and is no doubt itching to increase his current total of one.

So far, Stanton has helped the Cardinals to three wins in his four starts, and also led the comeback against the Rams after Palmer was lost for the season. His quarterback rating of 84.1 is more than satisfactory for a backup-turned-starter, and much of that comes from his interception rate of 1.6 percent, which sits near the league leaders.

In the game against the Lions, Stanton answered questions about his ability to lead the offense on multiple long scoring drives. Against the Seahawks, he also wants to prove he can keep the football safe.

"We have to be aware of what we're doing with the football," Stanton said. "The one thing that's unique about this defense is you might be going to the right place, you might find the right read, but the guy's covered. So you have to be smart with the ball then, too, and maybe get rid of it or try to scramble or find a different guy and get to your second read."


Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (knee) sat out practice on Wednesday, and after expressing optimism that he would play while

meeting with the media on Monday, Arians was less sure this time around.

"It is a little bit iffy because he's a little bit sorer than I thought he would be," Arians said. "We knew he would be. Hopefully it'll loosen up as the week goes on."

Fitzgerald had two catches for 33 yards against the Lions, including the game-clinching first down before the two-minute warning. He leads the team with 46 catches for 658 yards and has added two touchdowns. Fitzgerald has played in 110 consecutive games.

Defensive tackle Ed Stinson (toe) also missed practice, while running back Andre Ellington (hip/foot), linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (knee), running back Robert Hughes (hamstring) and safety Rashad Johnson (back) were limited.

For the Seahawks, running back Marshawn Lynch (back) missed practice, as did defensive end Michael Bennett (not injury related), cornerback Marcus Burley (hamstring), defensive end Demarcus Dobbs (knee), cornerback Byron Maxwell (calf), linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) and center Max Unger (knee/ankle). Guard James Carpenter (ankle), linebacker Brock Coyle (glute), guard J.R. Sweezy (thigh) and linebacker Bobby Wagner (toe) were limited.


Linebacker Matt Shaughnessy was back practicing for the first time since injuring his knee in the Week 5 loss to the Broncos. He was placed on the injured reserve-designated to return list after that game, forcing him to sit out practice for six weeks. Shaughnessy will be eligible for game action on Dec. 7 against the Chiefs.

While that matchup is still a couple weeks away, Shaughnessy said it was nice to get back on the field.

"I want to be a part of the team again," Shaughnessy said. "Get back out there and start contributing."

Shaughnessy has 13 tackles this season and is one of the team's better run defenders. He said the knee feels good, but it won't be full-go for him immediately at practice.

"I've pushed it pretty hard, but you can't simulate playing the game, so I'll go out there, see how it feels and go from there," he said.


The Cardinals have their best television numbers ever through 10 games and are on pace to shatter the single-season records for average rating (22.6), share (41) and households (432,00). Their current rating is 27.2, share 50 and average household reach 501,000 – numbers which only figure to increase down the stretch.

After reaching approximately 550,000 households on Sunday against the Lions, the Cardinals' ratings are up more than 35 percent from 2013, the largest jump in the NFL. The 10 broadcasts have been the most-watched programs of any kind in the Phoenix market this season.

Images of the Cardinals cheerleaders during Sunday's win over the Lions

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