The Arizona Cardinals plan to start quarterback Kevin Kolb against the Oakland Raiders on Friday in their third preseason game. However , John Skelton is considered the favorite to win the job, people within the organization told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Tuesday.
Neither Skelton nor Kolb has managed anything close to a breakthrough performance in their brief time on the field in the first two games. Kolb is just 2 of 9 for 25 yards, his playing time reduced when he left the Hall of Fame Game against the New Orleans Saints in the third series with bruised ribs.
He was 1 of 5 for 21 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Cardinals' second preseason game and had one pass dropped. Skelton has completed 7 of 12 for 67 yards with one interception. Against Kansas City, he was 3 of 6 for 35 yards with one pick.
Neither has thrown a touchdown pass.
The Cardinals thought they had acquired their franchise quarterback when they sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a draft pick to Philadelphia for Kolb, then signed him to a five-year, $63 million contract -- with $21 million guaranteed.
But with no offseason because of the lockout, Kolb struggled to absorb the Cardinals' offense and then was sidelined with injury. Skelton replaced him, and though his passing often was erratic, he had a knack for bringing the team from behind in the fourth quarter.
Kolb was 2-6 as a starter last year, missing much of the season with turf toe and later a concussion. Skelton, a fifth-round draft pick out of Fordham entering his third NFL season, was 6-2 in his absence, but much of the credit for that success went to the team's vastly improved defense.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.