Stanton is injured but Cardinals beat Rams, 12-6, for 11th victory

Stanton is injured but Cardinals beat Rams, 12-6, for 11th victory
Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton talks with reserve quarterback Ryan Lindley after being injured during the second half of the game against the Rams on Thursday night. (Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

ST. LOUIS — Drew Stanton hopped off the field to the bench and was carted off with a right knee injury.

For the second straight meeting against the St. Louis Rams, the Arizona Cardinals lost a quarterback.

They won both times, thanks to strong defense.

Chandler Catanzaro kicked four field goals, and the Cardinals overcame the loss of Stanton with their stifling defense, moving closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 12-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.



Cardinals-Rams game: In the Dec. 12 Sports section, a photo caption accompanying an article about the 12-6 victory of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals over the St. Louis Rams should have said that Arizona, not St. Louis, had a record of 11-3. —


Larry Foote had a sack and fumble recovery.

Coach Bruce Arians said Stanton had a previous knee injury and will need an MRI exam to determine the extent of the damage.

The Rams (6-8) were held to Greg Zuerlein's two short field goals and had five three-and-out series in the third quarter. Catanzaro's 23-yard field goal early in the second quarter ended nine quarters of shutout defense by St. Louis, which beat Washington and Oakland by a combined 76-0 the previous two weeks.

"I thought our defense played well enough for us to win," Coach Jeff Fisher said, but he quickly added that a turnover would have been nice.

"In situations like this, when your offense is struggling, your defense has got to make a play. We were close."

The Rams were eliminated from playoff contention.

Ryan Lindley was ineffective in his first appearance since 2012 in relief of Stanton, who injured his right knee on a sack in the third quarter, but it didn't matter. The Cardinals lost Carson Palmer to a season-ending knee injury during their 31-14 home victory over St. Louis last month.

Kerwynn Williams was the Cardinals' offensive standout with 75 yards in 15 carries. Stanton was 12 for 20 for 109 yards and Lindley was four for 10 for 30 yards.

The Cardinals (11-3) entered tied for the top overall record in the NFC and will clinch a playoff spot if Sunday's Dallas-Philadelphia game doesn't end in a tie, or there is a Detroit loss combined with a Green Bay victory.

"My first time with 11 wins. I'm happy," cornerback Patrick Peterson said as he walked into the locker room.

Rams players had no apparent protests relating to unrest in nearby Ferguson. Two weeks ago, five players did the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" pose coming out of the tunnel during pre-game introductions, and last week, players wrote "I Can't Breathe!!!" on wristbands and cleats.

Rams rookie Tre Mason's fumble gave the Cardinals a short field that set up Catanzaro's first field goal. Frostee Rucker punched the ball free and Foote recovered it at the St. Louis 27.

It was the first score given up by the Rams since Nov. 23, when San Diego scored the winning touchdown with just over eight minutes left in a 27-24 victory.

Michael Floyd's 49-yard reception set up Catanzaro's 44-yard field goal that put the Cardinals up 6-3 midway through the second. Catanzaro made kicks of 51 yards and 46 yards in the second half.