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Waiting At Quarterback

Posted Oct 15, 2012

Kolb injures ribs, but Cardinals know Skelton ready if needed

After quarterback Kevin Kolb (4) was hurt Sunday, the Cardinals wait to see if he or John Skelton (19) will be behind center in Minnesota.

All along, Ken Whisenhunt talked about the Cardinals’ need for two quarterbacks whenever he spoke about the battle between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb.

At some point, the Cards would need both, he would say.

His team is back in that unsettled spot again. After Kolb went down with an injury to his ribs late in Sunday’s game against the Bills, Skelton – who had been named the starter to begin the season, only for himself to leave with an injury in the opener to open a door for Kolb – came in for the relief appearance.

That leaves the position an unknown for now as the week builds toward a road game in Minnesota.

Kolb underwent an MRI Monday on his ribs and sternum, although coach Ken Whisenhunt said Kolb’s X-rays after the game were negative. Kolb was sore, Whisenhunt acknowledged, but beyond that, answers weren’t going to be found yet.

--- UPDATE: The Cardinals are saying that quarterback Kevin Kolb has cartilage damage in his ribs and an SC joint sprain which will keep him out “an unspecified period of time.” ---

“It’s very early for us to even talk about that right now until we get all the information back,” Whisenhunt said. “It’s not going to change how we plan for this week.”

And why would it? Over the past two seasons, both quarterbacks have seen plenty of game action. With both players, the coaching staff knows with what they are working.

“You don’t like the fact Kevin, after the way he played (Sunday), got hurt on that one play,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s unfortunate for him, but nothing has wavered about the way we feel about John or even Ryan (Lindley.)”

Nothing has changed in the locker room either for a team that spent an offseason and preseason waiting to see who would start at quarterback.

“You don’t want to get used to it,” running back LaRod Stephens-Howling said, “but we are comfortable with whatever quarterback lines up Sunday, he’ll get the job done.”

Neither Skelton nor Kolb were available for comment Monday, but Skelton said after the game he felt no aftereffects from his ankle problem and said he hoped Kolb was OK.

“I know what it’s like to be back there with the bullets flying and feeling like you have to scramble every play,” Skelton said. “(Kevin) made plays down the field with his legs, which is rare you see someone make one play like that, and he made them several times in the game. It was almost like it was a matter of time before you figured something happened.”

Kolb ended up with 66 yards rushing on five carries. The first four came on scrambles that picked up good yardage. He was hurt on a play in which the Cards checked into a draw play out of the shotgun, but running back William Powell didn’t get the call. Kolb, left with no one to hand the ball to, ran back to the line of scrimmage and apparently fell on the ball as two Bills tackled him.

It was an odd way for his day to end, considering how well his running had worked for the Cardinals.

“Well, I mean he got sacked eight times last week, so I think he learned he had to run,” guard Daryn Colledge quipped.

“When he saw an open lane, he decided to tuck it,” Colledge added. “Anytime you can get four yards on the ground instead of four yards in the backfield, I’m happy with that.”

Skelton only completed 2-of-10 passes in his time, although one drop – by Stephens-Howling in overtime on a screen pass – looked like it was primed for at least a first down. That was the Cards’ final play before Skelton’s overtime interception that ultimately cost the Cards the game.

Whisenhunt said Skelton “can’t make that throw.” But, “John did well enough in there to give us a chance to win in regulation,” Whisenhunt added. “Had we made that kick (on the last play of the fourth quarter) we would have felt good about everything.”

Colledge joked the players in the locker room probably would find out about the quarterback situation about the same time as the media did. Nevertheless, he added, if Kolb was out, it is next man up, and Skelton would have to take the reins and help the Cards snap their two-game losing streak.

“I think a team like this is mentally strong,” Colledge said. “We know we will be in a game at the end of it. We have a great defense. They give us an opportunity every single week to be in it. It’s going to be hard to find us getting blown out. So that gives us the feeling we have a chance to win every single week, no matter who it is against.

“The fact is the offense has to play up to the defense’s ability.”

EXTRA POINT

Safety Kerry Rhodes is also getting an MRI for his bad back. “On that one play, he was sore and trying to drive on it and felt a catch,” Whisenhunt said. Rhodes was having a hard time moving around in the locker room after the game.

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