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Schofield Out, Next Man Up

Notebook: With linebacker done for season, Groves fills in; Kolb working on return


Linebacker O'Brien Schofield (50) makes a play in Green Bay before suffering a season-ending injury later in the game.

O'Brien Schofield, his left ankle and foot in a boot and getting along on crutches, shook his head.

"That's three," the linebacker said, counting up his multiple injuries in his career, the latest torn ankle ligaments he suffered in Green Bay this weekend that ended his season. He got tangled up with teammate Darnell Dockett chasing Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and when Dockett fell on the ankle, Schofield yelled in pain.

It was a different kind of hurt Tuesday for both Schofield and the Cardinals. Schofield has fought back from a torn ACL as a rookie and last year, played through shoulder problems that he kept to himself. Now comes a fluke play to sideline him for the rest of 2012. Schofield said his surgery will be next week.

The Cardinals placed Schofield on injured reserve Tuesday afternoon.

"What are you going to do?" coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "(The injury) happens, so you move on. Quentin (Groves) has played well for us and adapted into that role. We'll go from there."

Groves, the fifth-year veteran signed as depth in the offseason, now becomes the starter in Schofield's place. Groves has been playing some already in relief of both Schofield and fellow starter Sam Acho, but now the former second-round pick has his own gig.

"It's unfortunate circumstance that my brother O'Brien had to go down, but we have to keep the ball rolling," said Groves, who has started for both Oakland and Jacksonville at times previously in his career. "Next man up. That's what this league is about.

"I'm not trying to be a starter or be this or that. I come to work, do my job and if the opportunity presents itself, I'll start."

An immediate linebacker replacement on the roster may not be forthcoming. The Cards already had one extra outside linebacker than usual after promoting Zack Nash from the practice squad a couple weeks ago, and they also have veteran Jamall Westerman.

Whisenhunt said Nash will be one of the players that gets a look this week after surprisingly being active ahead of Westerman Sunday in Green Bay. The Cards noticed Nash, an undrafted rookie, this summer, but Nash barely was able to do anything in training camp after spraining an ankle and was cut.

"He was encouraging in OTAs," Whisenhunt said, "but those aren't games."


Quarterback Kevin Kolb said on Monday night, he managed to fend off four sneezes, much to the delight of his family. The humor is bittersweet for Kolb, who is just trying not to feel the pain such sneezes would deliver as he recovers from his detached ribs.

But it's not the pain and soreness that is slowing his move back on the field as much as what it can cause.

"It's creating bad habits as you compensate," Kolb said. "I just can't do that. It's not worth it. So it's trying to figure how you can get work without creating bad habits."

Kolb said he tried to throw to receivers some Tuesday but "it just wasn't great." "I try not to get frustrated."

Kolb also wasn't certain the best way to know he will be ready to play, joking that he'd "dogpile and see what happens." Seriously, though, until he takes multiple hits – he said he didn't think one was enough – there's no way to know for sure. The plan remains for him to play again this season, he emphasized.

"I think it is one of those deals where whenever you are at this percentage (of healing) and they say it's safe to play, you wing it and try and play," Kolb said.


Rookie Nate Potter may be taking over at left tackle, but he certainly isn't acting like he's a sure thing. He said he graded out OK but not great after watching the video of his game Sunday, and said Tuesday "I definitely have to improve."

"I've just got to get accustomed to the speed and not have any mental errors," Potter said.

Getting stronger remains a top priority, Potter said, an issue that he has been dealing with since arriving in Arizona.


The Cardinals will end up with a pair of practices this week before getting four days off for the bye. Those two days of work include "a little bit of everything," Whisenhunt said.

"We do some competitive work, get a chance to see players run the scheme," Whisenhunt said. "Maybe see some of the other guys you don't usually get to see practice. Look at (rookie guard) Senio (Kelemete) and even Nate Potter. You get to evaluate where they are."

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