TEMPE, Ariz. There are plenty of things quarterback John Skelton hopes to do, now that he has regained the Cardinals starting job by default. Theres one thing he hopes he doesnt have to do: Run the ball.
Hopefully, it doesnt come down to that, Skelton said. Im no RG3.
Skelton admits Redskins QB Robert Griffin IIIs performance last week against the Vikings (the Cards opponents this week) was impressive. Griffin ran for 138 yards. Skelton was also impressed by erstwhile starter Kevin Kolbs 66 yards on five rushes last week.
None of those were called runs, either, Skelton noted.
But running is not Skeltons strength. Besides, the Cardinals can ill afford to lose another quarterback now that Kolb is out indefinitely with a sprain of the SC joint and cartilage damage in his ribs. CT and MRI results showed no fracture in Kolb's ribs or sternum, but coach Ken Whisenhunt declined to put a timetable on Kolbs recovery, despite multiple published reports that it could be anywhere from six to eight weeks.
"A lot of its going to depend on how he heals, how he gets the soreness out, Whisenhunt said. Im not trying to dodge the question. I just dont know. A lot of its going to depend on how he feels. I cant tell you how thats going to be.
Whisenhunt didnt show any inclination to sign another quarterback to avoid going with just two while Kolb is out.
We kind of did that the first couple of weeks, didnt we? he said. Its not a lot different. The only difference is Johns coming back off the ankle (sprain), but it seems like its fine. It is a little bit scary when you only have two, but a lot of teams are doing it now.
Kolb was injured late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 19-16 overtime loss to the Bills when he scrambled on a busted play and was tackled by two players, landing on top of the football.
Kolb missed about half of his first season as a Cardinal in 2011 with foot and head (concussion) injuries. He was relegated to the backup role when the season started, but Skelton suffered an ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of a Week 1 game against Seattle, ending his first starting gig almost before began.
Its frustrating more than anything, having put in all the hard work the last few years and then getting named the starter the way I was, Skelton said. To have it disappear, to have it taken away from you that early, its just unfortunate.
Skelton understands the challenge ahead. The Cardinals offensive line woes have been well-chronicled, with tackles Bobby Massie and DAnthony Batiste coming under particular fire. The club is also without its top two running backs (Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams), and tight end Todd Heap, a big crutch for a young quarterback, has missed the past four games and was limited again in Wednesdays practice.
Without all those weapons, Skelton knows he could be under pressure again from a tough Vikings defensive front that features end Jared Allen, is tied for 11th in the NFL with 15 sacks and seems to play inspired ball at the noisy Metrodome.
A lot of it is getting the ball out of your hand quick, Skelton said, when asked the key to limiting sacks. But theres times where youre going to get sacked no matter what.
One thing Skelton isnt concerned about is rust. He said he shook off most of it in his relief appearance last Sunday. With a full week to prepare as the starter, the rest should be gone by Sunday.
Its not like were going from the end of last year to the beginning of this year, he said. Youre still mentally dialed in. Youre still ready, you still see a hot (receiverroute) on camera or on film.