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Ken Whisenhunt explains John Skelton benching

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The Cardinals' quarterback situation became even more muddled as John Skelton was benched during the team's loss to Atlanta on Sunday.

Kevin C. Cox

Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt sent his starting quarterback, John Skelton, to the bench in the middle of the team's loss to Atlanta on Sunday. Skelton was replaced by rookie Ryan Lindley.

The Cardinals' quarterback situation has been in flux since the end of the 2011 season, when Skelton led the team to a hot finish. He was given the job out of camp, but lost in to Kevin Kolb after suffering an injury in the first game. Kolb is now battling injuries, so Skelton was thrown back in.

Whisenhunt was asked about the benching on Monday, and said it was just a matter of holding his quarterback to the same standard as the rest of the players, according to

"It was not so much a function of John Skelton as it was where our team was," Whisenhunt said. "When you say to your team you’re going to make changes if guys aren’t making plays, and you’ve done that already in a couple of spots, you’ve got to stay consistent with that message."

Skelton started the game just 3 of 7 for 6 yards before being benched. Lindley didn't fare much better in relief, completing 9 of 20 for 64 yards

The lack of offense wasted a solid performance by the rest of the team, including five interceptions from the defense. The Falcons were able to come back in the fourth quarter to win and send Arizona to its sixth-straight loss.