Skelton doesn't practice, Arizona coach mum on QB
TEMPE, Ariz.—Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt still isn't naming a starting quarterback for Sunday's game at New England.
John Skelton, out with a sprained right ankle, did not practice on Wednesday but Whisenhunt would not rule him out for the game. Kevin Kolb said he practiced with the first unit on Wednesday but has not been told whether or not he will start against the Patriots.
"We've still got some days," Whisenhunt said. "John's continuing to improve. We were lucky that it was a low ankle sprain and he's getting better. So we'll see how it goes as the week progresses."
Skelton beat out Kolb for the starting spot in the preseason but went down with the ankle injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's opener against Seattle. Kolb came in and directed the Cardinals on the winning touchdown drive in Arizona's 20-16 victory.
Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said in a radio interview on Tuesday that Kolb would be the starter, but Whisenhunt would not confirm that to be the case.
"He said that?" Whisenhunt said. "I think we've still got some days until we play. I know he was excited by the way Kevin played, and deservedly so. Kevin did a nice job."
Star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said it's nothing new for the team to be uncertain about the quarterback.
"It's not much difference for us," he said. "This is like regular training camp. We're used to the competition switcheroos. We're conditioned for this so I think we're going to play this to our advantage."
Skelton and Kolb each started two preseason games before Whisenhunt finally named the starter a little over a week before the season opener.
Kolb said he's proceeding as if he will start. He hasn't started a game since Arizona hosted San Francisco on Dec. 11. Kolb took a knee to the head on his third play and left with a concussion that wound up ending his season.
"I've got to prepare like I'm going to be a starter," he said.
Someone noted that he was taking the usual Wednesday spot that the starting quarterback does in a meeting with reporters under a tree outside the Arizona locker room.
"That's true," he said, "good point."
If Skelton can't go, rookie Ryan Lindley will be the backup.
Kolb came to Arizona amid much fanfare in a trade with Philadelphia that sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick to the Eagles. Kolb then signed a six-year, $65 million contract extension, $21 million guaranteed.
So after losing the starting job, he called his performance against the Seahawks "pretty special."
Kolb, using a no-huddle offense, completed 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards on the winning drive, culminated by a 6-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts, a rocket of a throw across the field toward the sideline.
"It was perfect" Roberts said. "I don't think he could have put it anywhere else. He drove it, I think, from the other hash and it came on a line, and I just plucked it out of the air."
After the game, defensive leaders Adrian Wilson and Darnell Dockett went out of their way to praise Kolb.
"I want to talk about Kevin Kolb," Wilson said. "Let's talk about how poetic that was. The guy didn't get any reps, John got all the reps, and he came out and led the game-winning drive. Defensively, we just went out there and did our jobs. Kevin is really the one that should be talked about right now."
Kolb was thrilled to have the support.
"It means a lot," he said. "The last thing you want to do is lose the respect of your teammates. For them to stand up and say the things that they said, it means the world to me. I'll do my best to make sure I'm holding up my end of the bargain."