The Arizona Cardinals announced Friday afternoon that quarterback Drew Stanton will start on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers come to town. Carson Palmer has been dealing with a nerve issue in his shoulder, and Bruce Arians said he has not reached a point where he can throw.
Palmer was a late scratch last week, and has been limited in practice this week. I thought maybe the Cardinals might try and play the long con on this, but it sounds like Stanton will be the guy to play this Sunday. Stanton started last week against the New York Giants, and it was his first start since 2010. He was adequate for the Cardinals, but they were more able to rely on their run game and defense to beat an awful Giants team.
The 49ers are better than the Giants, but there remains a question of how much pressure they will be able to get on Stanton. He attempted 29 passes against the Giants, and it would not surprise me to see him attempt another sizable chunk of passes. The 49ers run defense buckled down against the Bears. If they can continue in such a manner, the Cardinals will look to test a pass defense that has been inconsistent. The secondary has taken some strides, aside from Ward's struggles against Brandon Marshall. But the pass rush remains a huge question mark. The 49ers should be able to contain Drew Stanton, but if the pass rush remains non-existent, they could still find themselves in trouble.