PHOENIX An already difficult second NFL season came to an end for Arizona's Matt Leinart on Tuesday when he was placed on injured reserve with a broken collarbone.
Kurt Warner, the 36-year-old quarterback who had shared duties with Leinart, moves into the starting job. The team signed Tim Rattay on Tuesday to be Warner's backup.
Leinart, a left-hander, fractured his left collarbone when he was sacked by Will Witherspoon in the second quarter of the Cardinals' 34-31 victory over the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday. He sat on the sideline in the second half with his arm in a sling.
"We didn't want to rush him back," first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "To hold a roster spot for that long is difficult, with some of the areas we are banged, with the hope he can get back in time. I am more concerned about him trying to rush back and maybe jeopardize his future."
The uncertain timetable was a major reason for calling an end to the young quarterback's season.
"Whenever you have a fracture, there will be six weeks or however long it takes to heal," Whisenhunt said, "and then, especially because it is his throwing shoulder, you have to do the rehabilitation of it throwing the football. Who knows what it could have been? Could have been 8 weeks, could have been 12 weeks."
Leinart, the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft, had been unhappy with the two-quarterback system employed by Whisenhunt. The former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time national champion at USC has started 16 games for Arizona, including the first five this season.
VICK MUST REPAY $20 MILLION: Michael Vick has taken another hit and this one could cost him nearly $20 million.
Already facing prison time, the disgraced quarterback lost the first round in his financial battle with the Atlanta Falcons when an arbitrator ruled Tuesday that Vick should repay much of the bonus money he got while secretly bankrolling a gruesome dogfighting ring.
The case is far from over. The players' union said it will appeal the ruling by Stephen B. Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania law professor and special master who oversaw last week's arbitration hearing in Philadelphia.
The Falcons argued that Vick, who pleaded guilty to federal charges for his role in the long-running operation, knew he was in violation of the contract when he signed a 10-year, $130 million deal in December 2004.
The team said he used proceeds from the contract to fund his illicit activities and sought the repayment of $19,970,000 in bonuses he was paid over the last three years.
GANDY OUT FOR SEASON: Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Wayne Gandy will miss the rest of the season after the first major injury of his 14-year career.
The Falcons confirmed Tuesday that Gandy tore the anterior cruciate ligament on Atlanta's next-to-last offensive play of a 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans. He will need surgery, another blow to a team that lost four of its first five games and is still dealing with the stunning downfall of quarterback Michael Vick.
The 36-year-old Gandy was in his 14th NFL season and second with the Falcons.
JOSEPH SUSPENDED: The NFL has suspended starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph for Sunday's game at Kansas City, the Cincinnati Bengals said Tuesday.
Joseph will forfeit his salary for both this game and the Jets game on Oct. 21, the club said. He was suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The second-year pro was arrested in northern Kentucky on Jan. 22 after a Boone County sheriff's deputy stopped a vehicle he was a passenger in and smelled marijuana, according to the police report. Joseph told the deputy he had marijuana in his Super Bowl backpack, where it was found, the report said.