Injury to QB Skelton gives Kolb another chance
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — For at least a few magic moments, these were Kevin Kolb’s Arizona Cardinals once again.
Booed by a share of the home crowd as he took the field following an ankle injury to John Skelton, Kolb heard nothing but cheers after he engineered the winning touchdown drive against Seattle on Sunday.
Just how long he will be Arizona’s No. 1 quarterback is an open question.
Skelton’s injury was not as serious as first thought. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said it was a low ankle sprain and called it ‘‘good news.’’
Asked Monday if he was ruling out Skelton for next Sunday’s game at New England, Whisenhunt said ‘‘Not yet.’’ The coach would not speculate on how long Skelton might be out.
‘‘We don’t think it’s going to be something that’s going to hold him out too long,’’ Whisenhunt said.
And when Skelton returns, would he be the starting quarterback again?
‘‘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 that we'll see what happens with John and how quickly he gets back health-wise.’’
In other words, Whisenhunt isn’t saying.
Kolb, who lost a protracted competition with Skelton for the starting job going into this season, has been through this before, when he opened the 2010 season as a starter for Philadelphia, then was hurt in the opener and lost his job to Michael Vick. Kolb started again when Vick was hurt, but was back on the sidelines when Vick returned to good health.
Last season, Kolb came to Arizona with much fanfare, only to struggle, then be sidelined twice with injuries, with Skelton taking his place and having far more success, at least in term of victories.
So he wasn’t interested in speculating about whether he will be benched again when Skelton comes back.
‘‘'The way my career’s gone, the way that last year went, the way that it happened already this year, I'm not even worried about that,’’ Kolb said. ‘‘I'm just going to play and let things take care of the way they’re supposed to end up, so we'll see what happens.’’
Kolb knows how fleeting things can be.
‘‘I've always said you can’t get too high or too low in this game,’’ he said.
After all, he said, it was only one drive.
But a memorable one.
Skelton had completed a crucial pass when he went down.
Kolb came in and completed 6 for 8 for 66 yards, including two big passes to Larry Fitzgerald and two to tight end Todd Heap, followed by the 6-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts.
‘‘I think he’s got a lot of confidence now,’’ Whisenhunt said, ‘‘which whenever you get into a situation like he’s been through, when you have a good game like that and you make big plays for your team, it really does a lot for you.’’
The success came in a no-huddle offense, something the Cardinals turn to from time to time.
‘‘Everybody says that you want to do the no-huddle all the time, but it’s not something you can do all the time,’’ Whisenhunt said. ‘‘It’s something you've got to use as a change-up. It can be part of your attack, but you can’t make a living doing it.’’
Kolb said he has run the no-huddle since high school, and he likes it.
‘‘You stop overthinking the game,’’ he said. ‘‘You just go out there and play and read and react. I think the biggest thing is it stalemates the defense a little bit. They get tired, maybe they get a little bit conservative or it gets them out of their normal routines. Anytime you can do that, you’re one step ahead.’’
Kolb is not surprised by how coy Whisenhunt is being about whether he will start this week.
‘‘Yeah,’’ the quarterback said with a smile, ‘‘I know how Ken works — for sure.’’