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Drew Stanton could be out for rest of Cardinals' season

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The Arizona Cardinals might have lost quarterback Drew Stanton for the rest of the season.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport first reported Friday, per two sources informed of the situation, the team discovered an infection Wednesday which required arthroscopic surgery. The infection was believed to have been caused by outside medical treatment, Rapoport added.

Stanton has been out since he suffered an MCL sprain earlier this month in a win over the Rams.

The development could be why Cardinals coach Bruce Arians decided to go back to Ryan Lindley for Sunday's game against the 49ers. Logan Thomas was originally slated to start in order to get him some preparation as a backup. Now, Lindley will need all the reps he can get. Stanton was originally viewed as a heavy favorite to start the team's opening-round playoff game.

Though it's hard to bet against Arians, Stanton was likely the team's best hope of advancing in the playoffs and winning their first postseason game since 2009.

Despite the setback, Arians isn't ready to rule Stanton out for good.

"I have no idea about infections and all that," Arians said. "You can talk to the doctors about that stuff. He's on schedule for next week."

Ever since the team lost Carson Palmer to a season-ending ACL injury, the Cardinals have been reeling amid a search for an able replacement. Arians' playoff run despite that fact has been one of the reasons he could run away with the Coach of the Year award.

In two starts this season, Lindley has been less than serviceable, with a completion percentage barely eclipsing 40 and no touchdowns. Pushing him to a playoff win might be Arians' best coaching job ever, though.

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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