Coach Bruce Arians (second from right) hasn't decided who will start at quarterback Sunday, with Logan Thomas (6), Carson Palmer (second from left) and Drew Stanton (5) all still under consideration.
Bruce Arians was blunt when it came to assessing his quarterback situation Friday.
"Honest to God, for the first time in 20 years, I really don't know who's starting," the Cardinals' coach said.
For a third straight day, Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton were officially listed as limited in practice as Palmer tries to ready his right shoulder and Stanton tries to get past a concussion. Stanton still hadn't passed his concussion test – he was to take it Friday afternoon. Palmer hustled out of the locker room to fly to Denver so he could get an early evening treatment at Muscle Activation Techniques, which had helped
him initially last weekend.
Arians said Palmer was at about "80 percent" and showed some good velocity on passes Friday. During the open portion of practice, Palmer threw passes about 30 yards, although they were lobbed rather than all out lasers. Arians said Palmer has stayed very sharp mentally, so his time off practice doesn't preclude him from playing.
If neither is ready, the Cardinals will start rookie Logan Thomas, who Arians said has impressed him this week with his progress.
Arians said there is a possibility all three will be active for the game Sunday, and also said the starter might not be named until game time.
"We could wait all the way until right before kickoff (to see) who is healthiest and who's the one to go," Arians said.
Palmer and Stanton didn't talk to the media, but Thomas admitted not knowing the starter on Friday afternoon "is a first for sure, for me at least."
"It's fine," Thomas said. "It's Carson's team, he's the number one guy. Me, I know my spot, I'm the number three guy. If (Carson) is able to go, it makes the team that much better. For me, I will prepare the same exact way, prepare like it's my game, because you never know what might happen."
Arians said the gameplan will be the same regardless of who starts.
"I know whichever quarterback is in the huddle, he'll play a great game," Arians said. "No doubt in my mind about that. Just don't know who that is going to be yet."
FITZ AND STARTS
Larry Fitzgerald has just 13 catches for 164 yards and no touchdowns through four games, not the kind of start the wide receiver was hoping for this year, a big one as he heads into a crossroads offseason of his Cardinals' career.
All the stats are his lows through four games, although not surprisingly, Fitzgerald isn't going to go public
with any frustrations.
"I just control the things I can control," Fitzgerald said. "It is what it is. There's no reason to complain about it or get down. When I get my opportunities, I've got to make the best of it."
He had a season-high 57 yards in Denver, but all three of his catches came early. Once Stanton got hurt, the passing game all but disappeared. Fitzgerald didn't even officially start – Jaron Brown was on the field for a running play on the initial snap – for only the second time in 160 career games.
Once, it wouldn't have been surprising to see Fitzgerald get 13 catches or 164 yards in a single game. Still, Fitzgerald isn't going to complain if the season plays out like this. That's not his way.
"If it is, it is. If it's not, it's not," Fitzgerald said. "I don't put much thought in it."
SHAUGHNESSY HAS FAITH AS HE SITS
Linebacker Matt Shaughnessy is out at least eight games on the injured reserve/designated to return list after hurting his MCL in Denver. He said he tried to play through it in Denver, after feeling something pop during the third series of the game. He briefly came out but ended up finishing.
The next day, the Cardinals were putting him on the IR list, a big blow to the defense. But Shaughnessy said he has no doubt the team can survive with him sidelined.
"I have a ton of confidence in this defense," Shaughnessy said. "Coach's philosophy has been true to this point, so all the guys that play linebacker, they can take care of business."
BUTLER TO DO IT THE REST OF THE SEASON
Drew Butler has punted in more games for the Cardinals this season than Dave Zastudil. That's not going to change, now that Butler – originally a last-minute fill-in for the gimpy Zastudil before the season opener – has been signed while Zastudil was put on injured reserve with a bad groin.
Butler was signed and cut twice, re-signed to the practice squad and now signed to the active roster a third time. He's basically been around the team the entire regular season, but the multi-transactions have made it "a little different."
"Those (other specialists) are professional so it made my job a lot easier when I had to come in that Monday night on short notice," Butler said. "It's been up and down, but everyone has been receptive and winning is fun."
Butler has averaged 47.9 yards a punt, although his net stands at 36 yards. Twice, protection breakdowns have allowed blocks.
FANAIKA LIMITED AND QUESTIONABLE
Starting right guard Paul Fanaika (calf/ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis Friday and is officially listed as questionable, along with Stanton and Palmer. If Fanaika can't play, the Cardinals will start Jonathan Cooper. As expected, linebacker Glenn Carson (ankle), tight end Troy Niklas (ankle) and defensive end Calais Campbell (knee) all are out for Sunday's game.
Everyone else on the Cards' injury list is probable.
For the Redskins, cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) and quarterback Robert Griffin III (ankle) are out. Washington has five players listed as questionable: Tackle Trent Williams (knee), tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring), safety Ryan Clark (ankle), linebacker Brian Orakpo (ankle) and linebacker Perry Riley (knee).