It figures that John Skelton finally got what he so coveted — the nod to be the official starter for the Cards, without the caveat that the “real” starter was injured or that the season was a lost cause — and suddenly had the rug pulled from under him with his ankle injury. Clearly there were some ups and downs in the opener before Skelton got hurt, but his first half was solid and smart and exactly the kind of performance the Cards had been hoping he’d deliver. The second half was mostly forgettable, but coach Ken Whisenhunt said the offensive issues weren’t all Skelton’s fault. In fact, take away his interception — which, while a great play by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, needed to be chucked out of bounds and no where near the field — and Whisenhunt said “I think he played a good game.”
Skelton’s final numbers: 14 for 28, 149 yards and the pick. He had 124 yards by halftime, so he was heading in the right direction. And after all the miracles he performed late in games last season, who knows? Maybe that 17-yarder he threw to Andre Roberts on the play in which he got hurt was the beginning of another one. Maybe he would have done exactly what Kevin Kolb did.
(By the way, call it Kolb’s “give-back” game. Last year, Skelton came in after Kolb got hurt after three plays against the 49ers at UoP and won the game, although the win was “officially” put on Kolb’s record as starter because Kolb started. Well, Kolb returned the favor Sunday.)
But you knew something was bad with the right ankle as soon as he went down. “He’s not going to wallow around whenever he’s got a little ding,” Kolb said. In his postgame presser, Whisenhunt even said the Cards were going to “say a prayer” that Skelton’s ankle injury wasn’t serious. It turned out later, of course, that there is no fracture, it seems like a bad sprain, and while it’s not good, it’s not season-ending.
It’ll make for an interesting turn of events if Kolb can continue to play well in the interim. If that happens, what does Whisenhunt do when Skelton returns? We’ll see. But when I think of that scenario, one of Whiz’s favorite lines echoes in my head: “It’s a good problem to have.”
Tags: John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb
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