Max Hall diagnosed with concussion
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Max Hall will remain the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals if he can pass the tests required by the NFL after a blindside sack knocked him out of Sunday's game in Seattle with a concussion.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said that if the rookie is cleared, he will be the starter next Sunday against Tampa Bay, his poor performance in the 22-10 loss to the Seahawks notwithstanding.
"We can't make too much of what happened yesterday," Whisenhunt said at his Monday news conference. "He's a rookie quarterback. We can't lose sight of that. You know that you're going to have some things that you have to go through the first time. This is his first start on the road in a tough environment and it didn't go very well. But what I've seen of Max he'll bounce back and he'll improve."
Whisenhunt said he is looking to simplify the game plan in hopes that Hall will be able to return to the freewheeling form that impressed the coaching staff in the preseason.
"We ran a bunch of plays that we ran in camp that we were familiar with and we executed them well," Whisenhunt said. "We're going to go back to a little bit of that. Hopefully that will help us be more efficient."
Hall was injured on a blindside sack by Chris Clemons early in the third quarter. Hall fumbled the ball away on the play, setting up one of Olindo Mare's five field goals. Hall was not in the locker room when reporters were there on Monday.
After the game, Hall said he was "a little woozy" and "a little nauseous" after the play.
"But I'll be OK," he said.
Hall struggled with his grip on the ball in the wet weather, leading Whisenhunt to suggest the quarterback might want to try gloves.
"It was tough. At times it was really wet. But, it's no excuse," Hall said. "You still have to be able to execute. We were running the ball well. But we kept having turnovers and mistakes. It is hard to win when you do that."
Derek Anderson, who started Arizona's first four games, relieved Hall and directed the Cardinals to their only touchdown but was erratic, as is his custom. Anderson was 8 of 17 for 96 yards.
Wide receiver Steve Breaston was kept out of the game because of the wet conditions, Whisenhunt said. Breaston has missed three games while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. The Cardinals expect him back against Tampa Bay.
Arizona's offense has scored two touchdowns in the last three games, and one of those was a 2-yard return of Hall's fumble by offensive tackle Levi Brown. The team has not had a passing touchdown since week three.
Again, the Cardinals had trouble taking advantage of Larry Fitzgerald's talent. Arizona threw to him 10 times but he caught only three for 30 yards.
"Really, the quarterback play has been inconsistent," Whisenhunt said. "We've missed opportunities and that's what hurt us, and obviously when we do get something going we've turned the ball over."
The Cardinals had five turnovers, four of them fumbles. Tim Hightower, who lost two fumbles in the season opener, lost another one at the end of a 28-yard run that gave the Seahawks the ball at their 28-yard line. Hightower gained 59 yards in six attempts but did not carry the ball again.
Whisenhunt praised the defense for keeping the Cardinals close despite the turnovers. Seattle's only touchdown in seven red zone trips came after Andre Roberts' muffed punt gave the Seahawks the ball at the Arizona 2-yard line. The Cardinals sacked Matt Hasselbeck five times, two by Alan Branch.
But it was not enough to overcome Arizona's punchless offense and the many mistakes.
The Cardinals (3-3) were not about to concede that Seattle (4-2) is the best team in the NFC West.
"A game like that, we killed ourselves," running back Beanie Wells said. "We've got to give them credit. They're a good team but I definitely don't think they are better than us."
The teams have a rematch in Arizona on Nov. 14.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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