Bigger Test Could Be Ahead for Leinart

Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner (Getty)

Backup quarterback Matt Leinart has failed to impress in three significant appearances this season. But coach Ken Whisenhunt has defended him, saying his sees progress from the fourth-year quarterback. It's possible Leinart could start this Sunday against the Titans. That would provide a nice story line since the Titans passed on Leinart in the 2006 draft and took Vince Young with the third pick.

Leinart fell to the Cardinals at No. 10, a development that former coach Dennis Green called a gift from heaven.

Leinart hasn't led the Cardinals to a score in three appearances this season, and in each case, the opponent made a comeback to make things interesting.

Whisenhunt said the Cardinals turned conservative offensively in the second half, after starter Kurt Warner left with a head injury.

"There were a lot of things that we didn't allow him to do because this was a team that was blitzing and selling out to try to stop us," Whisenhunt said. "I didn't want to put Matt (Leinart) in a position where we would potentially have a turnover or a negative play. We kept things a little close to the vest."

Warner's status likely won't be determined until later in the week. He was suffering from concussion symptoms, but didn't lose consciousness or memory. Warner did a have a headache after the game, but expressed optimism about playing on Sunday, as did Whisenhunt.

"We will have him tested just to make sure," Whisenhunt said. "We are obviously optimistic that there won't be any issues with that whatsoever."

NOTES, QUOTES

--QB Kurt Warner has passed for at least 20 touchdowns in each of the last three seasons. He is the first Cardinals quarterback to accomplish that feat.

--The Cardinals are 7-3 for the second consecutive season. Only four times in team history have the Cardinals won eight or more of their first 10 games. They were 8-2 to start the 1975 and 75 seasons.

--The Cardinals have won their first five road games of the season for the first time since 1948. The five road wins are the most by the team in a single season since 1982 and the most road victories in a season since 1975.

--Under coach Ken Whisenhunt, the Cardinals are now 18-1 when leading after three quarters.

--Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner is sensitive to the idea that he's injury-prone. He has started 41 consecutive games for the Cardinals. His last concussion, he said, occurred in 2003 while he was with the Rams. When a reporter brought up his history of concussions, Warner interrupted.

"Easy now, easy," Warner said. "They were a long time ago. I've had a couple minor concussions. Nothing that has been prolonged. Haven't had anything in a number of years."

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
PLAYER NOTES

--QB Kurt Warner will undergo neurological tests as the week progresses to determine if he can play Sunday at Tennessee. Warner suffered from concussion symptoms after taking a hit in the second quarter against the Rams.

--WR Larry Fitzgerald has nine touchdown receptions, three short of his career-high, set last season.

--OLB Chike Okeafor didn't make the trip to St. Louis because of a back condition. He's missed the past two games but coaches are hopeful he will return to play against the Titans on Sunday.

--CB Bryant McFadden suffered a knee bruise in the second quarter in St. Louis and didn't play in the second half. McFadden's status won't be determined until later in the week.

--OLB Will Davis, a backup, left the game early with a knee strain but it's not believed to be serious. Davis played well in splitting time with Bertrand Berry.

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