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Stanton could be back for playoffs

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It's already been established that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton won't play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers unless there are extenuating circumstances, giving his right knee time to heal before the playoffs.

On Tuesday night, however, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that there's an "85 percent" chance that Stanton will be ready for the Cardinals' first postseason game since 2009.

"He's going to practice some this week, and we'll see how he goes," Arians said. "Do not plan on playing him this week unless it was absolutely necessary."

After their loss to Seattle on Sunday night, the Cardinals likely will end up playing in a wild-card game during the first weekend of January. However, a win over the Niners and a loss by the Seahawks against the Rams this weekend would give Arizona either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NFC depending on the result of the Detroit Lions-Green Bay Packers game.

With Stanton all but ruled out this weekend, Arians has handed the reins of Arizona's offense to rookie quarterback Logan Thomas. On Tuesday night, Arians said Thomas will get the first-team snaps this week and will play at least the first half in San Francisco. Yet, Arians said he feels confident turning to Ryan Lindley if Thomas' outing goes awry.

"You got to turn over every stone going into the playoffs," Arians said. "It doesn't have anything to do with how Ryan played last week. I need to find out what Logan can do going into the playoffs."

If Stanton is healthy heading into January, he'll be the Cardinals' starter, Arians said. But how Thomas plays Sunday will help him decide who the backup and third-string quarterback will be.

"It's the guy who can make the most plays given an opportunity," Arians said. "We gave Ryan an opportunity, and he made some plays. He had an opportunity to make some more, and we just missed them. I want to make sure that if Logan can make the plays against the Niners in a critical game, then we may make the right decision if Drew gets injured or Drew can't go going into the playoffs."

Information from ESPN Stats & Information is included in this report.