"Didn't really have a choice," Whisenhunt said, according to Darren Urban the Cardinals' official website, who added that Whisenhunt cited Skelton's command of the offense throughout the week as a motivator for the move.
"It doesn't mean it's going to be great quarterback play," Whisenhunt continued. "We're hoping he'll get in there and handle it well and make some plays for us."
The Cardinals' options at QB are severely limited -- usual starter Derek Anderson is out for Week 14 with lingering concussion symptoms, and backup Max Hall has joined him on the shelf with a sprained right shoulder.
That left Arizona to choose between Skelton, a fifth-round pick out of Fordham, and Richard Bartel, who's spent time with five NFL teams and one UFL franchise since going undrafted in 2007.
Skelton won the competition this week.
"You have to understand what you are faced with and you have to be patient," Whisenhunt said. "Your expectations can't be so high that they are going to come in and play well. To think John was going to be in line to play a lot is something you weren't expecting.
"But where we are now with our team, with our record, it's one of the things you get to look at. It's one of the positives, I would guess. Let's face it, the bottom line is, we still want to win a game."
The bar's not incredibly high right now in Arizona, something that may work in Skelton's favor. The Cardinals are riding a seven-game losing streak and, at 3-9, sit in last place in a very mediocre NFC West. Suffice it to say, Arizona's first season post-Kurt Warner has not gone according to plan.
But Skelton -- the first Fordham player to see NFL action since Aki Jones played four games for the Redskins in 2005 -- could at least provide a little spark. He could have a worse matchup for his starting debut, too -- Denver's also 3-9 and allows more than 230 passing yards per game.
Skelton's only regular-season game action thus far came in Arizona's 19-6 loss to St. Louis last week; he finished 3 of 6 for 45 yards and was sacked once.
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