TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.
Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.
Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.
Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.
Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.
Among quarterbacks who have dropped back more than once this season, Jimmy Garoppolo ranks first in the NFL with a 9.0-yard-average per pass attempt.
The 49ers (3-10) have won both of Garoppolo’s starts, and his 627 yards passing in those two games are the most for a player in franchise history in his first two starts.
The 49ers’ last Pro Bowl quarterback, Jeff Garcia, discussed the elite skills he has witnessed from Garoppolo in his short time in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
“First of all, he has eliminated mistakes,” Garcia said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “You see the way the offense has been able to put drives together to get into the red zone. Now, they haven’t all led to touchdowns, but he’s been a great decision-maker.”
The 49ers settled for five field goals in a 15-14 victory over the Chicago Bears. On Sunday, the 49ers scored on five consecutive possessions spanning the second and third quarters in a 26-16 win over the Houston Texans.
“He’s been very accurate with his throws,” Garcia said. “You see when he completes balls, the receivers are in a position to continue running for yards after the catch. The balls aren’t thrown behind. They’re not low. The receivers don’t have to leave their feet for many of the throws. That is key to turning what could end up being fourth downs into first downs.”
Garoppolo has completed 48 of 72 pass attempts (66.7 percent) with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating is 92.7.
“His timing -- he’s getting the ball out on time,” Garcia said. “Even when he has a free rusher coming off the edge, which happened a couple of times with (Jadeveon) Clowney, he’s able to step in there and throw an accurate ball and make a play. Those things hadn’t been done prior to his existence on the team.”
The 49ers have signed wide receiver Max McCaffrey off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad, a source confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports Bay Area.
The NFL Network first reported the 49ers’ move.
The team could place wide receiver Victor Bolden on injured reserve to make roster space for McCaffrey. Bolden sustained an ankle injury in the 49ers’ 26-16 victory Sunday over the Houston Texans.
McCaffrey (6 foot 2, 200 pounds) is a second-year player from Duke. He is the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey and the older brother of former Stanford star and Carolina Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey.
Max McCaffrey appeared in five games this season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, catching one pass for 4 yards.
He originally signed with the Raiders as an undrafted rookie and spent time with Green Bay, New Orleans and Jacksonville before returning to the Packers’ practice squad in October.