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Chasing Plays That Were Missed

Posted Nov 9, 2011

Notebook: Skelton seeks improvement; No timetable on Rhodes

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald hauls in a touchdown catch from John Skelton during last weekend's overtime win against the Rams.

Larry Fitzgerald wanted to make it simple.

The Pro Bowl receiver was asked what John Skelton would have to work on this week – if he has to start for a second straight game in place of the gimpy Kevin Kolb – to prepare for Philadelphia, and Fitzgerald was blunt.

“Just do what he did last week – he got us the win,” Fitzgerald said. “He made plays when we needed it.”

It’s not quite that simple, but Skelton, as usual, doesn’t seem anxious about his role or what he might be asked to do. The message coming from both Skelton and coach Ken Whisenhunt was converting more of the plays that the Cards can. They can’t afford, for instance, to only have 58 first-half yards.

“There were plays to be made that were left on the field, there were some simple things, simple reads and hot throws, that I missed,” said Skelton, who finished 20-of-35 for 222 yards and no turnovers. “On the other hand, we had some plays we did well. There is always room for improvement, but like they say, it is never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems.”

Skelton even had a touchdown pass, a pretty throw over the top of linebacker James Laurinaitis to Fitzgerald that tied the game in the fourth quarter on the Cards’ best drive of the day.

“John, he made some huge plays, extending the game with his feet too,” Fitzgerald said. “Everyone took turns on that drive. We just were doing it way too late.”

Fitzgerald even deadpanned that Skelton’s running style – he gained 38 yards to lead the team – was “effective.”

“Not Michael Vick style, but effective,” Fitzgerald added.

Whisenhunt just wants Skelton’s overall game to be effective, which means making the plays that should be made.

“We missed enough of those ones, the hidden yardage, that will give you the first downs, that will give you the chunks,” Whisenhunt said. “Not doing anything special, but do it right with the ones that are there. If John does that, then that will be an improvement.”

WAITING ON RHODES

Free safety Kerry Rhodes continues to rehab from his foot surgery, but his return – he got hurt against Minnesota Oct. 9 – remains unknown. Whisenhunt said Rhodes was “probably still a couple weeks out.”

“A lot of it is going to depend on when he gets his foot out of the cast, and he can start working it and getting his range of motion back,” Whisenhunt said. “Once that happens, then the healing process and the ability to come back will speed up rapidly.”

Not only did the Cards have Rhodes and linebacker Joey Porter – who also had minor surgery, last week on his knee – along with Kolb out, but fullback Anthony Sherman (ankle), tight end Rob Housler (groin) and linebacker Paris Lenon (groin) also sat out Wednesday.

Go here for the full injury report.

ADAMS WASN'T SCARED

Cornerback Michael Adams left late in Sunday’s game strapped down to a stretcher on a cart, a frightening moment for anyone watching. But Adams said he was never worried and that it was just a precaution. He also insisted he was never scared, and will never be.

“I play reckless,” Adams said. “I live a life of, ‘Whatever is going to happen is going to happen.’ If there is something bad meant for me to happen on that field, it’s not going to stop me from doing what I am doing.”

Adams said he felt he could have walked off the field, but the doctors and trainers wouldn’t let him. So in typical Adams fashion, he explained the moment with some humor.

“I just told them I was tired, we didn’t have any timeouts and I just wanted to come off the field for a second,” Adams said with a grin.

SACK CHANGE

A sack that was split between defensive end Calais Campbell and linebacker Clark Haggans on Sunday has been changed to Campbell’s alone. That raises Campbell’s season sack total to five, and resets Haggans’ total to one.


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