Redskins’ reserves fall to Cardinals

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GLENDALE, Ariz. | With the controversy swirling ahead of him on the Arizona quarterback depth chart, Max Hall wrapped up his preseason with a big night.

The undrafted rookie from BYU completed 7 of 9 passes for 126 yards and scored on a 6-yard run in the Cardinals’ 20-10 victory Thursday night over a Washington Redskins team made up almost entirely of reserves.

Hall, who has impressed coaches throughout training camp, directed Arizona to two touchdowns and a field goal in the three possessions he was in the game.

Derek Anderson, starting for the second week in a row ahead of Matt Leinart, played one series, completing 2 of 3 for 47 yards for Arizona. Leinart played the next two series, going 3 of 5 for 14 yards.

For the second game in a row, Albert Haynesworth played extensively at the end of a preseason that had featured a battle of wills with coach Mike Shanahan.

Leinart, expected to replace the retired Kurt Warner when training camp began, started the first two preseason games. A week ago, though, coach Ken Whisenhunt made the surprising announcement that Anderson would start against the Bears in Chicago. Both quarterbacks threw touchdown passes in that game, won by Arizona 14-9.

After practice Monday, Leinart complained to reporters that he had outplayed Anderson and didn’t know what else he could do to deserve the starting job. He said the problem with Whisenhunt is “probably away from football.”

That led to a meeting Tuesday afternoon between the disgruntled quarterback and coach and a flurry of reports that the Cardinals were making calls about possible trades for Leinart and might even release the former Heisman Trophy winner.

But if Leinart left, that would leave two rookies backing up Anderson, a scary prospect, Hall’s big impression in camp and preseason notwithstanding.

As was the case in Shanahan’s days with Denver, his main players took the fourth preseason game off, including quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman. Richard Bartel and John Beck split time at quarterback. Bartel threw 21 yards to Terrence Austin on the first play of the fourth quarter for Washington’s lone touchdown.

Hall relieved Leinart with eight minutes left in the first half and directed 12-play, 81-yard scoring drive, culminated by Alfonso Smith’s 3-yard TD run.

The first time the Cardinals had the ball in the second half, Hall led team 48 yards in 10 plays before Jay Feeley kicked a 28-yard field goal.

On Hall’s final series, Arizona went four plays in 47 yards. Hall scored on a 6-yard run, holding the ball over the pylon with his left hand for the score.

John Skelton, Arizona’s fifth-round pick out of Fordham, finished off the game at quarterback.

Willie Parker had a 13-yard run and a 15-yard reception on Washington’s first possession. Graham Gano’s 40-yard field goal was nullified by a holding penalty, then he kicked a 50-yarder to tie it at 3.

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