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Ryan Lindley to start for Arizona Cardinals; Skelton out

Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't afraid to gamble with what remains of his team's wildly uneven season.

Whisenhunt announced Wednesday that rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley will start Sunday at home against the St. Louis Rams.

Lindley was rocky at best in the Cardinals' 23-19 loss to the Atlanta Falcons last week after he was plucked off the bench in the second quarter to replace John Skelton. The rookie finished 9-of-20 passing for 64 yards. Lindley wasn't helped much by his receivers, but the sixth-round draft pick was unprepared for the show. Apparently, Whisenhunt still saw potential.

"He did a nice job in a hostile environment handling the game, without a lot of practice during the week," Whisenhunt said. "So where we are as a team and as an offense, it gives us a chance to see what he can do, see if he can't get, with a week of practice, if he can get in there and get us going and help us move the ball and score some points."

Whisenhunt told reporters this week he needed time to decide whether Skelton or the rookie -- or even Kevin Kolb, who still isn't 100 percent healthy -- would get the call.

The choice of Lindley is bad news for Skelton, of course. Outside of Lindley setting the earth on fire, Kolb will take over when he's ready to play, but Skelton's demotion does not bode well for his future with the Cardinals.

Arizona desperately needs a win to snap a six-game losing streak. The problem is an offensive line that's unable to stop the pass rush and dooms every man who lines up under center. Cardinals signal-callers are rattled and blitzed every week. Until that's fixed, this ugly carousel will continue to spin.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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