Sunday marks the final matchup of the season for the San Francisco 49ers, which means the last of our cross-blog chatter for the season. This weekend we're talking with Revenge of the Birds. The Cardinals have a shot at winning the NFC West, but they also have numerous question marks up and down the roster due to injuries. We took some time to chat with Jess Root to get a better idea of where things stand.
You can also read over my answers to his questions.
Niners Nation: Arians made the switch back to Ryan Lindley. What do you make of this, and will the Cardinals have Drew Stanton back for the playoffs?
Revenge of the Birds: Well, it obviously means that Logan Thomas did not show much in practice and he is concerned about Thomas performing on Sunday. More importantly, he has spoken about not ruining a young QB like him. If he wasn't completely in command in practice, he knows that Lindley is probably the better option, as strange as than might seem.
Lindley knows the offense and has been impressed coaches in practice since his rookie year. It just hasn't translated to on-field success.
As for Stanton, Arians recently said there is an 85 percent chance Stanton would be ready for the postseason. He also said there are no assurances. So...we're hoping for the best and expecting the worst. It is a shame, really. This is a team that had a real Super Bowl chance. Now we're wasting it on Ryan Lindley.
NN: What does the rest of Arizona's injury report look like?
RotB: So far this week, there have been a lot of banged up players. The most prominent injury is Larry Foote, who has played all but one snap all season. He didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday. I imagine he will be ready. But nose tackle Dan Williams was a late addition on Thursday. This is worrisome. 14 players in all are on the injury report. I bet most of them play, but they are a banged up squad here at the end of the season.
NN: What about Bruce Arians and his coaching staff has made this team successful in spite of so many injuries?
RotB: The main thing is that they are selling something the players are buying. Up until recently, everyone believes the backups can come in and do the job. I personally have the feeling that the loss of Stanton has taken its toll mentally on the team. They have looked more like the mentally beaten 2012 that fell apart.
Arians doesn't BS his players -- for good or bad. The players appreciate it. Todd Bowles gets immense respect from his players. That is the main thing. They have gotten great buy-in from the players.
NN: What do you expect from Arizona in the playoffs?
RotB: Without Stanton, nothing. With Stanton, most likely playing on the road, maybe a win in Atlanta or Carolina, but nothing more. And that is a shame.
Prediction: Ryan Lindley has ups and downs, but he gets his first touchdown pass of his career and Kerwynn Williams shoulders the load on the ground. Defensively, Arizona does just enough and Arizona gets an empty 16-13 win.