Severity of Drew Stanton’s knee injury could determine NFC West


The Seattle Seahawks’ hopes of winning the NFC West rests on…

Drew Stanton‘s right knee?

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Stanton left the Arizona Cardinals-St. Louis Rams Thursday night game with an apparent right knee injury. He had to be carted off the field.

Stanton’s injury is more bad news for the Cardinals, as they already lost Carson Palmer to a torn ACL. With Palmer as the quarterback, the Cardinals went 6-0 and at times looked like the best team in the NFL. Stanton recorded a respectable 4-3 record as a starter (5-3 if you count the Rams game, in which he was injured), but looked unimpressive the whole year.

A common mantra in football is, “Next man up,” and the Cardinals have embodied that very saying. However, there comes a point where it’s pretty difficult for that “next man” to fill the shoes of the player in front of him. That is the case of the Arizona Cardinals.

If Stanton’s injury is serious, it means that Arizona will have to change quarterbacks again: Carson Palmer to Drew Stanton to Ryan Lindley. The Cardinals do have rookie quarterback Logan Thomas, but after Thursday’s game, Arizona head coach Bruce Arians seemed to be leaning heavily towards using second year quarterback Ryan Lindley who he said, “had more experience.”

This is where the Seahawks come in.

The Seahawks have a big matchup with the Cardinals next week, which will likely determine who wins the NFC West. If Seattle beats San Francisco at home this weekend, both Arizona and Seattle will have 3-1 divisonal records, which is the first tiebreaker if there is a tie in the standings.

Even though Stanton played far from stellar against Seattle the first time around (14-26, 149 yards, 1 INT), at least he’s seen the Legion of Boom, Bobby Wagner and the rest of the Seahawks defense before.

We’re talking about a Ryan Lindley, on the other hand, who has not seen Seattle before. We’re talking about a Ryan Lindley who completed only four passes and struggled mightily against a Rams defense which is very good, but not on the same level as the Seahawks. We’re talking about a Ryan Lindley who has thrown zero scores against seven interceptions in his two-year career.

I think everyone already knows that if Lindley gets the start next Sunday, the Legion of Boom will have their Christmas dinner early… all with interceptions.

And after the Legion of Boom has its feast, they’ll get to open their big present: a top-two seed in the NFC playoffs.

Arizona fans, I can’t believe I’m saying this.

You better hope, pray, wish that Drew Stanton’s knee injury isn’t serious.

Because if it is, the Cardinals are in some serious trouble.