He's been aggressive calling plays on the field, but Cardinals first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt played it cautious yesterday when the team placed Matt Leinart on injured reserve with a broken left collarbone, ending the franchise quarterback's season.
Shortly thereafter, Tim Rattay was brought in for a workout, then signed a one-year contract to be Kurt Warner's backup.
Leinart, a lefthander, fractured his collarbone when he was sacked by Will Witherspoon in the second quarter of the Cardinals' 34-31 victory in St. Louis Sunday.
"We didn't want to rush him back," Whisenhunt said. "To hold a roster spot for that long is difficult, with some of the areas we are banged [up in], with the hope he can get back in time. I am more concerned about him trying to rush back and maybe jeopardize his future."
The uncertain timetable was a major reason for calling an end to the young quarterback's season.
"Whenever you have a fracture there will be six weeks or however long it takes to heal," Whisenhunt said, "and then, especially because it is his throwing shoulder, you have to do the rehabilitation of it throwing the football. Who knows what it could have been? Could have been eight weeks, could have been 12 weeks."
Leinart, the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft, had been unhappy with the two-quarterback system employed by Whisenhunt. The former Heisman Trophy winner from Southern Cal has started 16 games for Arizona, including the first five this season. But Whisenhunt used Warner when the team went to a no-huddle offense that often has been effective.
NFL benches Joseph
The NFL has suspended starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph
for Sunday's game at Kansas City for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, the Cincinnati Bengals said. Joseph will forfeit his salary for both this game and the Jets game Oct. 21, the club said. The second-year pro was arrested in northern Kentucky Jan. 22 after a Boone County sheriff's deputy stopped a vehicle he was a passenger in and smelled marijuana, according to the police report. Joseph told the deputy he had marijuana in his Super Bowl backpack, where it was found, the report said. He was placed in a diversionary program open to first-time offenders and the Bengals said he complied with all league and law-enforcement obligations to resolve the case. Joseph was the ninth Bengals player arrested on a variety of charges over a nine-month period . . . Quarterback Damon Huard's
MRI showed no damage to his injured shoulder and the veteran may be ready to start Sunday against Cincinnati, Kansas City coach Herm Edwards
said. Huard, 34, got a shoulder contusion in Sunday's 17-7 loss to Jacksonville in which Kansas City rushed for only 10 yards. Backup Brodie Croyle
replaced Huard in the fourth quarter and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass on the final play.
Surgery for Gandy
Atlanta left tackle Wayne Gandy
will miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury that will require surgery. The Falcons confirmed that Gandy tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Atlanta's next-to-last offensive play of a 20-13 loss to Tennessee. It was the first major injury for Gandy, 36, who is in his 14th NFL season and second with the Falcons. He started all 16 games in 10 of the last 11 seasons. Renardo Foster
, an undrafted rookie who played for coach Bobby Petrino
at Louisville, will take over at left tackle when the New York Giants visit Monday night . . . Tampa Bay plans to place backup quarterback Chris Simms
on injured reserve today, creating room on the roster to bring in a replacement for injured running backs Carnell "Cadillac" Williams
and Michael Pittman
. Simms had his spleen removed after taking several hard hits in the third game of last season and has struggled to regain his form. Earnest Graham
, a contributor on special teams for most of his four years in the NFL, is set to make his first pro start Sunday against Tennessee. Rookie Kenneth Darby
is the backup after beginning the season on the practice squad . . . Minnesota placed backup defensive lineman Darrion Scott
on injured reserve with an injury to his left foot sustained during practice Monday . . . Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett,
26, was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct stemming from an altercation with two women in a bar this summer. "We will enter not-guilty pleas to the two charges and will defend these charges aggressively," lawyer Avi Berk
said. The Packers gave Barnett a six-year, $34.85 million contract extension in April.
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