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Cardinals planning to start Ryan Lindley vs. 49ers

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When Bruce Arians said earlier this week the Arizona Cardinals would start Logan Thomas at quarterback, he left himself an out if the rookie didn't look ready, promising a quick hook.

Just days later, Arians employed that hook.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that the Cardinals plan to go back to veteran quarterback Ryan Lindley for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, according to two sources with knowledge of the plans. 

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic first reported the news.

Originally, Arians was set to start rookie Thomas, assuming he appeared in command and ready in practice. Thomas did not, per Rapoport.

When naming Thomas the starter this week, Arians said it was more about finding out what the rookie could do than passing judgment on Lindley. It only took Arians a couple shaky practices from Thomas to know he couldn't ride the strong-armed rookie in the finale.

Lindley completed just 41 percent of his passes en route to six points in the loss to the Seahawks last week and has zero touchdown passes in his 225 career pass attempts. Still, he's better prepared for the aggressive 49ers defense than the fourth-round pick, Thomas, who has always been viewed as a long-term project.

Already in the playoffs, the Cardinals are hoping Drew Stanton can return next week. Arians pegged Stanton's chances at 85 percent. If Arizona wants any prayer of playing at home in the Super Bowl, they'll need the veteran back for the postseason tournament.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the biggest matchups in Week 17 and makes its picks for the last week of the season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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