Kevin Kolb still not back to 'normal'

Updated: December 21, 2011, 7:00 PM ET
Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt saw no reason to address who will be the starting quarterback when the team plays the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday.

Kevin Kolb, still not back to "normal" after a concussion, said John Skelton took a few more reps than he did in Wednesday's practice. Skelton started in place of Kolb on Sunday and, as he has done time and again in recent weeks, led Arizona to a late come-from-behind victory, 20-17 over Cleveland in overtime.

The second-year pro from Fordham is 4-1 as a starter this season, 5-1 if you count the victory two weeks ago over San Francisco, when Kolb was knocked out of the game on Arizona's third play. Overall, the Cardinals have won four in a row, and six of seven, to climb to 7-7 with a slim shot at making the playoffs.

Asked who would start Saturday if Kolb is healthy, Whisenhunt replied, "We'll see."

"I don't have to make that decision right now," the coach said.

There's no decision to make until Kolb is cleared by doctors to play in a game.

"I'm feeling all right," he said. "I wouldn't say normal, but I got a few more reps today and felt pretty good throughout the practice."

Whisenhunt said Wednesday "was critical" for Kolb.

"To go through a full practice, do a lot of those reps and see how he feels afterward," the coach said. "It's really going to depend on how he responds today and tomorrow and where he is."

The quarterback issue has been one of the more intriguing aspects of Arizona's turnaround. The Cardinals lost six in a row and were 1-6 when Kolb was sidelined with a right turf toe. With Skelton at the controls, Arizona won three of four before Kolb returned to start against Dallas.

Kolb's strong second half led the Cardinals to a 19-13 overtime victory over the Cowboys. But the following week against the 49ers, Kolb took a knee to the head and hasn't fully recovered. He thought he might be able to go against Cleveland but had an adverse reaction to the lights and noise of University of Phoenix Stadium.

"No question, I want to be on the field," Kolb said. "I want to be talking about defenses and winning ball games. To have one of the better halves that I've had and then be set back again from this, and it's something you can't mess around with, it's very frustrating. I'm not going to lie, but what are you going to do? You just come to work and hope to get better and keep working hard."

Skelton, meanwhile, has had Tim Tebow-like success.

"Tebow gets all the love. Skelton gets no sign, it seems like," Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. "John has done a terrific job. He just finds a way to get it done, with his legs, with his arm. It's like sitting there with a two-time Super Bowl champion in the huddle. I mean he shows no emotion, spits the play out like he's been doing it forever."

Skelton has struggled early in games, but has turned it on in the fourth quarter.

Against Cleveland, his 32-yard pass to Fitzgerald set up Jay Feely's game-winning 22-yard field goal. Earlier, he completed 4 of 4 for 70 yards, topped by a 3-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts, to beat San Francisco 21-19. At Philadelphia, Skelton was 5 of 8 for 100 yards, capped by a 5-yard TD pass to Early Doucet.

Skelton is diplomatic when asked if he deserves to remain the starter.

"We struggled early in the year, but guys kind of started to buy in, and overall as an entire team we've been playing really well lately," he said. "No matter who's at quarterback, whether it's me or Kevin, I know that the team is really going to rally around either one of us."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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