The inevitable happened Wednesday, with the Cardinals finally placing Kevin Kolb on injured reserve, ending his season and with it weeks of speculation of whether he could return from his nasty ribs injury. It also ended what looked like Kolb’s step forward in this offense after an injury-riddled disaster in 2011. Kolb was winning games in 2012, and had the meltdown of the offensive line not occurred right before the time Kolb was hurt, maybe we would have seen even more.
(Of course, the irony is that Kolb’s injury had nothing to do with the offensive line problems, just a blown handoff on which Kolb tried to run and paid the price.)
The Cards, to fill the roster spot, added offensive lineman Mike Gibson, who was with Seattle most of his four-year career before the Eagles released him in training camp this season.
It was pretty clear last week Kolb would not be able to come back from his ribs problem. Kolb proved he was the best quarterback on the team. But the reality is stark: The man acquired to be the team’s long-term QB last season played in just 15 of a possible 32 games because of injuries. Now, the injuries were serious – we’re not talking about skipping to nurse a sore hamstring or something, but instead torn ligaments in his toe and damaged foot, a serious concussion and now, ribs ripped from the sternum – but it’s tough to make an impression on the sideline.
It leaves much in the air for Kolb’s future in Arizona. No one has officially addressed it, but there is no way the Cardinals pay Kolb a $9 million salary in 2013 and a $2 million roster bonus in March. If he is going to stick around, the two sides will have to renegotiate, or Kolb will have to be released and test his wares on the open market, a la Levi Brown. I can still see a scenario where Kolb returns in 2013. But it’s no guarantee and whatever happens – if anything – with the coaching staff and front office will impact the thought process.
Kolb’s fourth-down touchdown laser thrown to Andre Roberts at the end of the Miami game that tied it up and forced overtime – a game in which the Cardinals won, the last one, as it turned out thus far – seems so, so long ago.
Here are a couple of quotes from Kolb today:
— Going on IR was “not a huge shock.” But “I wasn’t lying when I said, ‘I hope it’s next Monday, I hope it’s next Monday.’ ” He reiterated he would not have any surgery and let his ribs heal on their own.
— On the idea of the team wanting him to restructure his contract: “I’m not sure. If that time comes, we will have that discussion.”
— On staying in Arizona long-term: “I like the way this locker room is, the kind of guys in here. Obviously we have to make some adjustments. We all know that. My focus is being part of this team for a long time and getting this place back to an elite level. … People say certain things about this organization here, but my heart and soul is with this organization and I don’t want that to change. I really don’t.”
Tags: Kevin Kolb, Mike Gibson
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