|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NFL Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't ready to name a starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos Rookie John Skelton and newly signed took reps with the first unit in Wednesday's practice. They were the team's only healthy quarterbacks.
NFL starter Derek Anderson hasn't been cleared to play because of a concussion he suffered in last Sunday's 19-6 loss to the St Louis Rams. His backup, rookie Max Hall went down with a season-ending shoulder injury in that game. Whisenhunt said he would decide on a starter later in the week.
Arizona has lost seven in a row and ranks next to last in the 32-team NFL in offense. Sportsbook records the Cardinals to have one touchdown in the last three games, and that came on the final play of a 31-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs
Even if Anderson is cleared to play, he might not start. Whisenhunt will wait to see how the week goes. They couldn't say if he did not practice, he would play, it’s dependent on the progress this week.
Bartel, the backup to Daunte Culpepper with Sacramento of the United Football League, said he was hog-hunting -- with a knife, not a gun -- in Texas last week when the Cardinals called. He had worked out for Arizona two weeks ago, but he didn't know if he fit in the team's plans.
Bartel played for the Washington Redskins against the Cardinals in the final preseason game, completing 12 of 14 passes for 125 yards and one touchdown. Part of what you do in the preseason is you look at other players, claims Whisenhunt. When he played for Washington and against the Cardinals, Whisenhunt was very impressed.
Two days after that game, the Redskins cut Bartel, who wound up in Sacramento, playing for ex-Cardinals coach Dennis Green.
Bartel said he knows he has a chance to start, but he is fine if he doesn't. The 6-foot-6, strong-armed Skelton, a fifth-round draft pick out of Fordham, was the Cardinals' third-string quarterback a week ago. He made his NFL debut in the fourth quarter against the Rams, converting a third-and-16 situation with a 22-yard pass to Steve Breaston then had a 19-yard completion to Larry Fitzgerald Skelton wound up 3-of-6 passing for 45 yards.
Whisenhunt has said several times that he didn't believe Skelton was ready to play, but with his team's slide accelerating, the coach might have little choice. Most of Skelton's work in practice has been for the team that simulates the upcoming opponent, so it's difficult to evaluate him, Whisenhunt said. He said passing game coordinator Mike Miller and quarterbacks coach Chris Miller have spent time after practices working with Skelton in case this did happen.