Kevin Kolb and John Skelton battled entirely through training camp and the preseason for the starting quarterback position.
Now both men are fighting to stay healthy enough to be able to function as the starter and No. 2 (actually, Ryan Lindley is the official No. 2 for now).
Skelton went down in the season opener against Seattle with an ankle injury. That made way for Kolb to step in as the starter.
A few weeks later, and a lot of sacks later, Kolb’s body succumbed to the constant beatings, and now he’s out for an indefinite amount of time with chest and rib injuries.
Welcome back John Skelton to the No. 1 spot, as he’ll lead the Cardinals into Minnesota to take on the Vikings on Sunday.
“It’s hard to go from being on the sideline not playing to kind of just getting thrust in there last game [vs. Bills],” Skelton said. “At least this week, I’ll get to prepare as if I was the starter, which I was earlier in the year.”
Skelton says his mindset on Sunday will be different compared to previous Sundays, because he’ll be the starter, as opposed to the backup to the starter.
“Instead of just kind of mentally repping everything as you do when you’re the backup or inactive or what have you, you get to run it, you get to see it against the defense, you get to experience it out there,” Skelton said.
Skelton says it wasn’t a good feeling when he went down with his injury, calling it “frustrating.”
“Having put in all the hard work in the past years and offseason, and getting named the starter the way I was, and kind of have it disappear, taken away from you that early, it’s just unfortunate,” Skelton said. “Injuries are part of the game and you just make the most of it.”
Skelton says there’s no questioning his mobility, as he’s fit to run if it comes down to it.
“Hopefully it doesn’t come down to that, and I won’t be running the ball,” Skelton said. “I’m no RGIII [Robert Griffin III] or anything.”
“I’ll get the ball to our playmakers and let them rush and do their thing,” Skelton said.
The Vikings have a very stout defense, which will feed off being at home with their fans, which will pose a definite challenge for the Cardinals offense.
Skelton says it’ll be to the team’s advantage to punt it away every now and then on Sunday, as opposed to trying to force the issue on offense, which hardly ever works in the NFL.
“They’re a great defense,” Skelton said. “It’s okay for us to take a three-and-out and not force a turnover.”
Skelton’s backup, Ryan Lindley, has all the confidence in the world in Skelton, but he says he’ll heed the call of duty if need be.
“I feel good and I think John’s doing a great job,” Lindley said. “He’s going to do great and like anybody, I’m gonna be ready when it needs to go down, but until then I’m going to be mentally prepared.”