Coach Ken Whisenhunt's decision two weeks ago to start Max Hall drew rave reviews and sparked optimism from the team's fans.
But to Whisenhunt's credit, he has advised caution and warned of the perils of starting a rookie.
Whisenhunt would have preferred not to be a prophet, but that's what he looked like after the 22-10 loss to Seattle last Sunday.
Hall completed just 4 of 16 passes before being knocked out of the game in the third quarter.
Still, it's telling that Whisenhunt planned to stay with Hall if he had not been injured. And he plans to start him this week against Tampa Bay if Hall is sufficiently recovered from a second blow to the head in as many weeks.
"Let's be frank," Whisenhunt said. "You understand with a young quarterback in this type of environment (on the road), you're going to have to grow and learn with some of those things. And we understood that."
As has been his custom, Hall made mistakes early. This time, however, he never recovered.
His third pass was intercepted, and he was wild throughout the day. He missed Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown, and he overthrew other open receivers.
It's hard to say if Whisenhunt's decision to stick with Hall says more about his belief in the rookie or his lack of confidence in backup Derek Anderson.
Anderson sparked the offense in the third quarter in Seattle, but he had four starts in which to prove himself. He barely completed 50 percent of his passes, and it's clear Whisenhunt knows what he's going to get out of the veteran.
The hope is that Hall will improve dramatically with more playing time. The problem is, he has taken some vicious blows.
In his first start, he tried to run and took a blow to the head. He returned from that one.
But he didn't recover from the hit last Sunday, and that could keep him from playing against Tampa Bay.
Because of his inexperience, Hall needs all the practice time he can get. It's doubtful Whisenhunt would feel comfortable starting the rookie unless he's able to practice fully on Wednesday or at minimum, Thursday and Friday.
If he can't, Anderson will start against the Bucs. The Cardinals have not gained more than 267 yards of offensive in any game this season and twice have been below 200.
Cards: Hall Roughed Up, Remains Starter
CardinalsSource Top Stories
Cardinals sign Harvey BinfordThe Arizona Cardinals signed wide receiver Harvey Binford Wednesday after Binford worked out at the NFL Pro Player Combine in Tempe last weekend.
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 3:23 PM
Cardinals' draft profile: Corey DavisOur 30 prospects in 30 days series continues with a look at another potential first round draft pick for the Cardinals, Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis.
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 7:49 AM
New rule changes passed at owners meetingsNFL owners approved eight rules changes for the upcoming season at their annual owners' meeting in Phoenix Tuesday.
CardinalsSourceTuesday at 2:40 PM
Keim: Arizona has to stay true to processArizona Cardinals' general manager Steve Keim said that the Cardinals can't afford to find themselves in a situation where they're in a rebuilding phase because "that doesn't exist…
CardinalsSourceTuesday at 8:51 AM
Cardinals' draft profile: Mike WilliamsOur 30 prospects in 30 days series begins with a look at Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams, who is considered by many prominent mock drafts to be one of the leading candidates…
CardinalsSourceTuesday at 8:01 AM