Ryan Lindley Named Arizona Cardinals' Starting QB in Week 12

Tim KeeneyContributor INovember 21, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 18:  Ryan Lindley #14 of the Arizona Cardinals passes against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 18, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Welcome to Linsanity II: The Rise of Ryan. Or at least the Arizona Cardinals are hoping so. 

In an intriguing move on Wednesday afternoon, Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt named rookie Ryan Lindley the starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams.

The news comes from Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com:

Whiz names Ryan Lindley starting QB for Rams game Sunday. #STLvsAZ

— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) November 21, 2012

With Kevin Kolb unlikely to return from a rib injury this week, the decision came down to Lindley and John Skelton.

For most of the season, it has been Skelton lining up under center, and for most of the season, it's been downright ugly.

The third-year pro out of Fordham has completed just 54.7 percent of his throws for an anemic 161.5 yards per game and 5.9 yards per attempt. He's thrown for just two touchdowns compared to five interceptions and two fumbles. 

The Cardinals started off 4-0 (and then 4-2) under Kolb, but Skelton was forced into duty when Kolb went down with his injury. Skelton posted solid yardage numbers over the next three contests, but those numbers were still fairly inefficient (lots of pass attempts) and they resulted in three losses.

On Sunday, Skelton started the game 2-of-7 for six yards, and Whisenhunt decided he had enough, bringing in Lindley even though the Cards were up 13-0. 

Lindley didn't exactly blow anyone away during his debut. He completed 9-of-20 passes for 64 yards, zero touchdowns and zero picks. 

Nonetheless, it's clear that the Cardinals' organization is high on the sixth-round pick out of San Diego State. He has good size and arm strength, but his accuracy has often held him back as quarterback.

But with the Cardinals, losers of six straight, at 4-6 and all but out of the playoff race, there's no point in not seeing what the youngster brings to the table.