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Drew Stanton Gets Keys To Cardinals

With Palmer out, quarterback gets chance to lead team with best record in NFL


Quarterback Drew Stanton launches what turned into a 48-yard touchdown pass to wide reciever John Brown Sunday against the Rams.

Drew Stanton has got a lot going on right now.

The quarterback is anxiously awaiting the birth of his child, especially since his wife Kristin is already past her due date. Oh, and Stanton also is now the starter the rest of the season for the Cardinals, after Carson Palmer tore his left ACL in Sunday's win over St. Louis.

"I hope Kristin hurries up," coach Bruce Arians said with a smile. "We can't miss any practice this week."

Stanton is willing to wait out his kid. The Cards can't wait though. They have to have their backup-turned-starter-turned-backup be the starter again. Stanton earned trust with his play through his 2-1 stretch earlier in the season when Palmer was out with a nerve injury in this

throwing shoulder.

Now, it's up to him to steer the ship through what has been a good season already for the 8-1 Cardinals.

"You can't rest on anything that's happened in the past," Stanton said. "I think that's why we are where we are (as a team), because we don't look back and we're not looking ahead, either."

Stanton completed 3-of-5 passes against the Rams after coming in for the injured Palmer, including a 48-yard touchdown bomb to wide receiver John Brown that proved to be the winning points. For the season, Stanton has completed 46-of-93 passes for 614 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in four games.

There is pressure to keep him healthy. Arians joked that the Cardinals may have to conduct more sliding practice, but the concern of Stanton remaining available – with only rookie Logan Thomas behind him, plus whomever the Cardinals would bring in as a third quarterback – is real. The Cards found that out in Denver, when Thomas was forced to play after a Stanton concussion.

Stanton scrambled for a few yards on his second play Sunday, and Thomas wasn't even active.

"(Arians) got in my ear a little bit when I scrambled and said, 'There's no one left after you,' with some more explicit words than that," Stanton said. "I'm cognizant of that."

The Cardinals have a difficult schedule upcoming. There are home games against Detroit and Kansas City, both of which reside in the top five in the league in scoring defense. And there are still four games left against NFC West defenses Seattle (twice), St. Louis and San Francisco.

The Cards' own defense, which was outstanding again against the Rams, could feel a bit more pressure with Palmer out. Defensive end Calais Campbell said nothing really changes, however, because the pressure to dominate was already there.

"Our mentality is defense wins games, defense wins championships," Campbell said. "It's always been that way.

"Drew does a good job getting the ball into different playmakers' hands, and that's what a quarterback is supposed to do. But we know as a defense, the way to help offense score points, no matter who is throwing the ball, is to get turnovers and the ball on short fields."

Stanton came into the NFL in 2007 but this will be the first time he knows he will be the starter for an extended period of time.

"It's an opportunity I've been looking forward to for a long time," Stanton said. "It's been eight years that I've been working toward this, so I don't take it lightly. It comes under unfortunate circumstances, without a doubt, but it's also, like I was saying (Sunday), part of my job description."

Said Arians, "He's proven to everybody he's more than capable in finishing the job this team has started."


Arians said he expects running back Stepfan Taylor (calf) to return to practice this week. Defensive lineman Ed Stinson is dealing with both groin and toe injuries, but Arians said he does not expect either to be serious.

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