Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb hugs receiver Andre Roberts after the two connected on a game-winning touchdown pass Sunday against the Seahawks.
Only a week had passed since Kevin Kolb had last stood in front of his locker, insisting he would stay ready as the Cardinals' backup quarterback and trying to harness his own disappointment in losing out on the starting job.
He was back there Monday, this time after a dramatic game-winning touchdown drive against Seattle the day before following John Skelton's ankle injury.
In this slice in time, things were good again for Kolb, who has mastered the art of dodging the highs and lows that have come with his career.
"You realize it's never as bad or never as far away as you think," Kolb said. "This league has taught me that in the past."
No grand pronouncements were made Monday, and Kolb wasn't expecting any. Coach Ken Whisenhunt delivered, in the context of what could have been with Skelton's pain, good news when he revealed the sprain was low on the ankle and not high. Whisenhunt would not talk about Skelton's time frame to return. However, not only will the Cards not sign another quarterback, Whisenhunt wouldn't even rule Skelton out of Sunday's game in New England, even if Skelton playing seems unlikely.
Kolb wasn't fazed by a non-announcement of his starting – "I know how Ken works," he said – and he certainly wasn't going to be drawn in to the idea that he could be back on the bench sooner rather than later, despite his dramatic drive against the Seahawks.
"Really, the way my career has gone, the way last year went, the way it happened already this year, I'm not worried about that," Kolb said. "I want to play and let things go the way they are supposed to end up."
Skelton was unavailable for comment. Asked if Skelton would still start when he returned to health, Whisenhunt left it unanswered.
"I don't even know why that would be a question," Whisenhunt said. "I can't look into the future and say what's going to happen six weeks from now. I can only tell you we'll see what happens with John and how quickly gets back."
Following his own advice, Kolb said he just wanted to build on his 6-for-8 performance, for 66 yards. It would be difficult to do more than that. "At the end of the game, it was just one drive," Kolb said. "It was fun, but it was one drive."
"Everyone wants to pat you on the back after something like (Sunday) night and everyone wants to kick you down when you're down," Kolb added.
Whisenhunt said Kolb hopefully was "trending in the right direction" after his showing in the opener. If Kolb does start this week, the Patriots – out on the East Coast – are not an easy draw.
Given everything Kolb has been through, it's difficult to tell if the Seahawks game will be a watershed moment for him or just another mark on the timeline. There was some emotion Sunday night – safety Adrian Wilson talked about how "poetic" Kolb's performance was in light of criticism – but the Cards are also mentally moving on to Week 2.
Besides, there was a bigger picture aspect to Kolb's drive, since it did get the Cards a win – which the team would take no matter who was quarterbacking.
"What the perception is outside and what the perception is inside the locker room are two totally different things," guard Daryn Colledge said. "How we feel about John and Kevin is different than how the media might portray them or how fans might feel about them. We think they are both talented guys. But we also know what the fans and media are saying.
"To know what Kevin went through last year and all that, to see him put a great drive together and score a touchdown is an awesome moment for him but it was also a huge thing for us as a team."