Why Aren't the Cardinals Starting Josh Rosen?

Why Aren't the Cardinals Starting Josh Rosen?


Why Aren't the Cardinals Starting Josh Rosen?


The Arizona Cardinals should be awfully close to starting quarterback Josh Rosen. Perhaps they are. In the meantime, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Cardinals are satisfied with Sam Bradford.

If they are, they have poor taste.

So far this season, Bradford has completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 243 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions. That looks like the stat line from one bad game. But Bradford has played two very ugly games in which the entire Cardinals offense has looked horrendous. Opponents have outscored the 0-2 Cardinals, 58-6. Running back David Johnson has no space to operate. Rookie receiver Christian Kirk has not shown signs of life in the flailing Arizona offense. Larry Fitzgerald, who managed to put up 1,400 yards in 2011 with quarterbacks John Skelton, Kevin Kolb and Richard Bartel, is on pace for just 800 yards.

Only Bradford could make Fitzgerald look old.

On the season, five players have receptions: two receivers, two running backs and one tight end. That’s a fascinating statistical void in an age of the NFL when passing the football has never been easier. Week 2 was the greatest passing week in the history of the NFL.

Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield can do it. Quarterback Sam Darnold can do it. Josh Allen can do it — kind of. For some reason, the hapless and hopeless Cardinals refuse to put Rosen into the game to see if he can help them.

Maybe Arizona is intent upon tanking and developing Rosen out the spotlight before putting him at the helm of an 0-8 team. Maybe the Cardinals know their offensive line is too incompetent to protect the future of their franchise. But after seeing what Patrick Mahomes has done with the Kansas City Chiefs what Darnold has done with the Jets and what Mayfield has done with the Browns, the Cardinals must be tempted to see whether Rosen can bring life to the offense.

Rosen, after all, was touted as the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft class. So why isn’t he playing?

The denials come hardest at the breaking point. The news from Rapoport that the Cardinals are content with Bradford means the team is probably not content with Bradford. It must only be a matter of days.

Latest Leads

More NFL