Rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley is ready if needed to play.
Ryan Lindley was trying to trim his goatee this week when he accidentally took a little too much off and had to shave the whole thing.
Maybe he didn't want to resemble Kevin Kolb anymore. Maybe it was his subconscious preparing him for the cameras just in case John Skelton's right ankle isn't healthy enough for Sunday's game against the Patriots and Lindley has to be Kolb's backup.
As this season's already proven, anything can happen.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said it'll be a day or two before a decision is made on Skelton, who suffered a low ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals' season opener against Seattle on Sunday. Skelton did not practice Wednesday. Until word comes down one way or the other, Lindley is holding tight.
"I feel like I'm ready to go," said Lindley, the Cardinals' sixth-round draft pick in April. "I'm comfortable. I don't know if I've mastered the offense to the point these two guys (Skelton and Kolb) have. I feel like I can go in and function."
Lindley was inactive against the Seahawks but had a flashback to the final preseason game when he saw Skelton holding his ankle on the ground. The snap counts during the Cardinals' first four preseason games were monitored so Lindley knew about in which part of the game he'd be playing. Against Denver on Aug. 30, the plan was for Lindley to play the first half and Richard Bartel to play the second. But Bartel was injured in the third quarter.
Lindley had to trade his hat for a helmet and get back on the field in a moment's notice.
"I think it was another blessing in disguise," Lindley said. "You never want to see anybody get hurt but it gets you ready for not knowing when you're going to go in."
Whisenhunt was impressed with Lindley's level of readiness and believes those extra snaps in the preseason could benefit Lindley if he's forced into action.
Sunday evening, when the severity of Skelton's injury was still unknown at the time, Kolb took the Lindley under his wing and talked to the rookie about the importance of being ready.
"Last week is probably a pretty good indication of how fast it can happen," Kolb said. "He overworks. He's in the study room all the time and in the film room. I'm not concerned about him being ready."
OVERCOMING THE EAST COAST
It's been four seasons since they played five games on the East Coast in 2008 and the Cardinals are used the vaunted cross-country jaunts. Sunday against the Patriots in New England is the first of three East Coast trips this season.
"Our guys don't even talk about it," Whisenhunt said. "I think we know how we are going to travel. We know we are going out on Friday. We know what we need to do to prepare. I think our mentality is we're going to play. I think we have confidence that we can play and that's a big part of it."
Skelton (ankle) was the only Cardinal not to practice Wednesday. CB Jamell Fleming (shoulder), LB O'Brien Schofield (knee), SS Adrian Wilson (ankle) were listed as limited. And G Adam Snyder (elbow), CB Greg Toler (hip), RB Beanie Wells (knee) were listed on the injury report but practiced.
Two Patriots' starting offensive linemen were listed on the injury report. G Dan Connolly (head injury) missed practice Wednesday while T Sebastian Vollmer (back) was limited. S Patrick Chung (shoulder) was listed but practiced.