There is a mix of concern and disappointment among Cardinals fans with the decision Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians made this week to go from Logan Thomas back to Ryan Lindley as starting quarterback for the team as the Cardinals play their season finale in San Francisco. They do need a win to even have a shot at winning the NFC West and at a franchise record 12 wins.
Fans have now seen Lindley for several starts in his career. They have not been impressive, and that is the nicest thing that can be said. In over 200 pass attempts, he has yet to throw for a touchdown, excluding two scored by Janoris Jenkins of the Rams after he intercepted Lindley.
So when the news comes out that Lindley will start again, there is a collective groan.
No Logan Thomas and more yuck.
Thomas offers a big unknown. He has had nine throws this season and has looked awful and, with one throw, looked dazzling. But the upside is tantalizing.
However, his week in practice wasn't good. Arians went with a quick hook and after one day of work he went back to Lindley.
"The ball wasn't in the spots it needed to be," Arians said to reporters on Friday. "He was throwing it well, but not to the right guys. He just hasn't had enough reps to go against this defense [49ers], which is one of the five best defenses in the league."
Thomas was a project pick, needing a year or two of seasoning before he is expected to maybe make an impact. His demotion after one day is disappointing, but not deadly for his career.
Should there be concern that he can't be a better option than a player who perhaps has been the worst in history at his position over the first few starts of his career? Maybe, but then again, he isn't expected to do anything yet.
It is better for everyone that he not play if he isn't ready -- for Thomas, for the team and for fans. Take Lindley as a perfect example. He was drafted late. He wasn't supposed to play. He got pushed into action because of injuries and ineffectiveness. It was before he should have and he was awful.
The result? Fans dread the thought of his starting.
If Thomas were to start and play badly, it would leave a mark on Cardinals fans that would be hard to shake. The 2012 Ryan Lindley is all anyone can see when he plays. It didn't help that his one start resembled his 2012 play.
If Thomas doesn't know the offense, where to throw the ball or what protections to call after looking at a defense, we shouldn't want him on the field. He needs the offseason. He needs practice. He does not need to get ruined.
"I was hoping that he would be able to handle it, but it's not the time right now," Arians said. "Logan's gonna be a hell of a player one of these days, but right now he's not ready."
It doesn't mean he will never be ready. It doesn't mean he is a bust or a wasted draft pick. It just means he isn't ready to play in a game that still has postseason implications, against a top defense, on the road and without a solid knowledge of how to run the offense.
Give him time. Don't give up on him...at least not yet.
Hope for the best from Lindley. Be glad Thomas won't fail this week. Failing now could mean failing forever down the line.