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Arians says 'Honest to God,' he hasn't decided who will start at quarterback

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TEMPE, Arizona — Arizona coach Bruce Arians did nothing on Friday to clear up the quarterback situation for the Cardinals heading into Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.

"All three quarterbacks participated in practice today," he said, "and, honest to God, for the first time in 20 years, I really don't know who's starting. We'll see how it goes. They're all ready."

Arians said Carson Palmer was able to throw at about 80 percent of his usual velocity and after practice returned to Denver for more treatment of the damaged nerve in his throwing shoulder. Drew Stanton headed to a final concussion test after practice and could be cleared to play. Both Palmer and Stanton were listed as limited in practice Friday.

If neither of them can go, the job goes to rookie Logan Thomas.

"We can wait all the way until right before kickoff and make the decision on who's healthiest and ready the most to go," Arians said.

It was the treatment in Denver over the weekend that finally managed to give some life to the "dead" nerve in his arm.

"He had some good velocity, lobbed some balls deep today," Arians said. "He'll get another treatment and then get back."

Palmer hasn't played since landing on the shoulder while trying for a first down in the Cardinals' season-opening victory over San Diego. Although he hasn't thrown much, he has gotten the "mental reps" necessary if is to go against Washington, Arians said.

Stanton, who hadn't played in a regular season game in four years, started the last three. He helped Arizona beat the New York Giants and San Francisco, then went down with a concussion in the second half of Sunday's 41-20 loss in Denver.

PHOTO: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas (6) throws against  the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Denver. The Broncos won 41-20. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas (6) throws against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Denver. The Broncos won 41-20. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Stanton said on Thursday that he is symptom free but had not passed the NFL-mandated protocol for players who have concussions.

Thomas, a fourth-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech, has a strong but sometimes inaccurate arm. He completed one of eight passes against the Broncos, but the one completion, to Andre Ellington, went 81 yards for a touchdown.

"I was very pleased with his progression this week," Arians said, "and I feel very comfortable if he's starting."

Thomas worked all week with the first unit offense.

"I feel comfortable. I understand what's going on," he said. "I'm confident in what I can do."

Thomas said it's the first time he's gone into a game not knowing whether he can start or not.

"I'll prepare like it's my game," he said. "Obviously Carson is the starter around here. Drew's the No. 2. I'm the No. 3. If either of those guys is here, it's their game. I understand that. I understand my place."

Arians said it's possible that all three quarterbacks will be on the active roster for Sunday's home game. If Palmer and Stanton are inactive, expect the Cardinals to elevate Dennis Dixon from the practice squad. Dixon was signed on Tuesday.


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PHOTO: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas (6) throws against  the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Denver. The Broncos won 41-20. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
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