Thankfully for the Cardinals, they sit atop the NFC West with a comfortable three-game lead in the division. Although Arizona would prefer not to concede any ground to the San Francisco 49ers, ensuring Warner's long-term health is far more important than this week's matchup with the surging Tennessee Titans. After a 0-6 start, the Titans have gone on to win four straight and will likely give the Cardinals everything they can handle on the road.
While Warner's health is certainly a major concern, Leinart's prospective as the future starter in Arizona is also on the forefront of the Cardinals' coaching staff and front office. Leinart put forth an adequate performance in relief against the Rams completing 10-of-14 passes for 74 yards. Furthermore, Leinart managed to connect on a key third down late in the game to backup WR Early Doucet.
Unfortunately for Leinart he's been plagued by inconsistencies and underwhelming arm strength throughout his four-year tenure in the desert. During Leinart's time on the field this season the Arizona offense has looked out of sync, particularly when compared to that of Warner. That trend has been apparent since Warner took over as the full-time starter after Leinart went down with a broken collarbone early in the 2007 campaign.
If Warner is unable to go Sunday it could be a blessing in disguise for the Cardinals and Leinart. If Leinart continues to struggle, Arizona could have enough evidence to determine he's not the team's quarterback of the future after all. On the flip side, a solid outing by Leinart could rekindle thoughts of the former first-round draft pick as a dependable signal caller in the professional ranks.
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