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Still Deciphering QB Time

Coach isn't sure yet how much Kolb, Skelton will play Thursday

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The playing time for quarterbacks in the preseason finale hasn't been determined yet.


For one day at least, Ken Whisenhunt put the decision of who will quarterback the Cardinals this season on the back burner.

The head coach split his time Friday going over Thursday night's 32-27 loss to the Titans and cutting the roster from 90 to 75. Lost in the shuffle was the immediate futures of John Skelton and Kevin Kolb, both of whom started two games this preseason and neither of whom were declared the starter for Thursday's preseason finale against the Denver Broncos at University of Phoenix Stadium.

If Whisenhunt holds true to his training camp declaration that Skelton and Kolb will alternate starts, it's Kolb's turn to take the opening snap, but a decision has not come down yet. Neither has the choice of how much playing time either will get in the game.

"That's something we're going to think about going into this game," Whisenhunt said. "Really haven't put a lot of thought into that at this particular time.

"We'll think about it over the weekend. I'm sure I'll get asked that question again and the next time I think I'll have a little bit more information."

The battle between Skelton and Kolb to determine a starter will enter the final week of the preseason. Neither ran away with the job against the Titans as both showed glimpses of progress sandwiched in between interceptions and forced throws. Skelton was 4-of-10 passing for 41 yards and an interception, while Kolb was 17-of-22 for 156 yards, two interceptions and a touchdown.

That leaves Whisenhunt with a few more days to evaluate both in practice before seeing them against live action one last time.

"Since we're not game planning we still have an opportunity to do some competitive practices with our defense where you get a chance to assess their play," he said. "A lot of it is how they respond to their corrections this game and their games the week before. There are a lot of things that go into it."

Despite the drastic differences in their stat lines, both quarterbacks played five series. Skelton's drives weren't helped with offensive line issues, as young left tackle D.J. Young struggled. Making his first start, Young struggled to defend the edge, leading to a sack of Skelton and a slew of quarterback hurries.

The Titans finished with 10 quarterback hurries and four sacks in the game.

"(We're) in a situation that we're trying to find something about our offensive line," Whisenhunt said. "You've got to put them in a position to see how they handle it. That's a part of it. It's a big boys' game."

The next week will be spent trying to figure out a combination that works.

Whisenhunt admitted Young was in a tough position but said he still supports the rookie. Whisenhunt said he already knows what veteran Jeremy Bridges can do at left tackle. The coach also pointed to a stretch when D'Anthony Batiste was moved to left tackle and Bobby Massie was at right tackle.

"It seemed like (with them) we stabilized the protections, everything went a little bit better," Whisenhunt said. "Now you got to say, going into this game, you put that in there and see if it holds true.

"Maybe you wouldn't play certain players (in the last preseason game) but it's important for us to get an assessment of where we are."

EXTRA POINTS

The Cardinals cut 14 players and placed left tackle Levi Brown on injured reserve Friday. For a full explanation on the cuts, click here. ...

Defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin was fined $21,000 for a hit on Raiders quarterback Matt Leinart on Aug. 17. Lumpkin only pays the fine if he ends up on an NFL roster. ...

Whisenhunt said running back Beanie Wells felt good but looked rusty after his first game action since offseason knee surgery. ...

Whisenhunt said tight end Rob Housler didn't play for precautionary reasons to keep his hamstring injury from worsening.

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