Cards' top QB still up in air

Updated: August 27, 2012, 3:51 PM ET
Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Thirteen days before the regular-season opener and the Arizona Cardinals still have no starting quarterback.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he's not ready to announce whether Kevin Kolb or John Skelton will start the Sept. 9 game against Seattle.

That makes Arizona the only team in the NFL that hasn't selected a starter.

"I have the sense that everyone is expecting a starting quarterback announcement today," Whisenhunt said to open his regular Monday news conference. "We don't have one for you."

To make the situation a bit more perplexing, Whisenhunt says he doesn't expect either quarterback to play in the team's preseason finale at home Thursday night against Denver.

That leaves two days of full practice and one walk-through to further evaluate Kolb and Skelton if the team is to have a starter when game-planning begins in earnest for the season opener.

Rookie Ryan Lindley, a sixth-round draft pick out of San Diego State, will start against the Broncos as the coach goes with a mix of starters and backups.

However, Whisenhunt said, "I want to make sure I'm clear on this, Ryan Lindley is not going to emerge from this game as our starter no matter how he does."

The coach said that by having a fifth preseason game, the opportunity exists to see players such as Lindley and running back William Powell play alongside starters and against the opponent's better players.

Whisenhunt said that, with Lindley, "you have a young player that we felt strongly about in our evaluations."

"We had high grades on him. We were excited to get him where we did," the coach said, "and I think you can't escape the fact that with very limited reps he has performed well in the preseason."

Kolb and Skelton each have started two preseason games, and Whisenhunt decided against giving them a shot in the fifth game.

"I don't know how long Denver is going to play their starters," he said, "so as far as evaluation of the quarterbacks and trying to make it a level playing field, as for the number of reps and who they are playing against, I don't know how much that would serve with John or Kevin out of this game."

Whisenhunt declared it an open competition between the quarterbacks at the end of last season after, mostly with Skelton at quarterback, Arizona won seven of its last nine to finish 8-8.

Skelton was 5-2 as a starter, 6-2 if you count the late-season win over San Francisco, when Kolb started but went down with a concussion on the first series. Kolb missed almost half of the season with injuries.

The team has a large investment in Kolb, signing him to a big contract after acquiring him in a trade that sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick to Philadelphia.

Skelton, in his third season after being drafted in the fifth round out of Fordham, is a strong-armed but sometimes inaccurate passer who while struggling early in games, developed a knack for late-game comebacks.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press