Quarterback Ryan Lindley talks with coach Bruce Arians as wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) and fellow QB Logan Thomas (6) look on during the Cards' win in St. Louis last week.
Ryan Lindley's time is here.
Bruce Arians had already announced Lindley would start at quarterback Sunday against the Seahawks and that didn't change Friday, even though Arians left open the door that Drew Stanton could still be active for the game.
Stanton is officially listed as doubtful. Arians said if Stanton were active, it would merely be as Lindley's backup. After Stanton didn't even practice Friday, even that seems, well, doubtful. Arians said the reason Stanton didn't get any practice time Friday when he did Thursday on
a limited basis was because of the limited amount of reps in Friday's work.
As for Lindley, Arians said he made strides all week in his first practice work as starter since Ken Whisenhunt was coach in 2012.
"(Ryan) is a confident guy to begin with and the guys around him are very confident in him," Arians said. "That grew as the week went on and as he improved in practice. I think the other guys get to see it."
Arians reiterated rookie Logan Thomas is also prepared to play, especially in the certain package the Cardinals have installed for him specifically for the Seahawks. That may or may not be used, Arians has said.
Otherwise, it'll be Lindley's show, and while he too will have a game plan that is tailored to his strengths, at some point, he will have to make a play or two for the Cardinals to pull off the win and clinch the NFC's No. 1 seed and an NFC West title.
"That's something that B.A. preaches," Lindley said. "(A game manager) is not going to be his quarterback. His quarterback's going to go out and run his system. That's what makes it fun to play for him. You know you're going to get out there and you're going to go for it. It's not going to be, 'Hey, we're going to rein it in, we're going to hone it back,' because we've got a lot to lose."
WITH COOPER OUT, FANAIKA SLIDES BACK INTO THE LINEUP
The only player out for Sunday's game for the Cardinals is guard Jonathan Cooper, who hurt his wrist on the 49-yard pass to Michael Floyd
against the Rams and had to sit out Thursday and Friday practice because of it.
That made Arians' decision on starting guards easy. Ted Larsen will move back to left guard, where he has played all season, and Paul Fanaika goes back to right guard after missing two games with an ankle sprain.
"When you are out and you know you can't help your team, it's a sucky feeling," Fanaika said. "It's good to be back out there to contribute."
With Cooper at left guard and Larsen at right guard, the Cardinals ran for season-bests of 141 yards against the Chiefs and then 143 yards against the Rams. But Fanaika was confident that doesn't have to change even with a lineup shift.
"I think it can carry over," Fanaika said. "We're playing another good defense. But I think it comes down more or less to what we do."
Wide receiver Jaron Brown (toe) is the only other Cardinal who isn't probable – he is listed as questionable for the game.
The Seahawks will not have left tackle Russell Okung (chest), and starting center Max Unger (concussion) is doubtful. Also doubtful is defensive end Demarcus Dobbs (ankle). Tight end Tony Moeaki (shoulder) and wide receiver Chris Matthews (hamstring) are questionable.
UNDERDOGS AND A "DIFFERENT CULTURE"
Cornerback Patrick Peterson was asked about being an underdog against the Seahawks this week.
"Week in and week out. That's nothing new to us," Peterson said. "We were underdogs against the Rams last week."
But this time, Peterson was asked, it's at home where the Cardinals are 7-0.
"I understand that," Peterson said. "But we were the No. 1 team (last week), and we were still underdogs. That's going to happen every week. It's like they want us to lose, because they are so used to the Arizona Cardinals losing, It's like, 'The game is too big for them.'
"It's a different culture around here. Two years ago, I was on the other end of the spectrum. And it feels great to be on top … but we still haven't done anything yet."
Images of key players from this week's opponent, the Seahawks