John Skelton Ready And Willing To Start For Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals haven't announced anything about Kevin Kolb's status for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams and they likely won't until the last possible minute. All signs, however, point to backup John Skelton getting the fifth start of his career.

"As far as I heard, Kevin's still a possibility," Skelton said on Friday. "(Kolb) hasn't practiced at all because of his toe but he's in there getting treatment. We'll see what happens Saturday night or even Sunday morning."

If Skelton does get the start, he certainly thinks he's ready to perform and at a much higher level than last season when he closed out the year going 2-2 in the final four games. In those four starts and in part of a fifth game, Skelton went 60-126 (48 percent) for 662 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 62.3.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Skelton has looked good in practice this week and had looked good in training camp and preseason prior to suffering a high ankle sprain in the game against Green Bay.

"There's no question he's more comfortable now with the offense and hopefully that will allow him to play faster or see things better in the game Sunday," Whisenhunt said.

Skelton agrees. He admits that last year even with a watered down "vanilla" offensive game plan, he was having to think too much about the play in between calling it and executing it. Now he's able to "read and react" faster and is excited about the opportunity to "show what I got". He's have the full playbook at his disposal against the Rams.

Skelton obviously doesn't wish injury on anyone and is rooting for Kolb to get healthy but at the same time he understand that it's part of the game. "All you can do is make the most of it," he said about the position he's found himself in.

Whisenhunt said that Kolb, who was not in a walking boot again on Friday but was sporting a much shorter haircut, is making "really good progress" with the injury. The decision about him playing will be based on the amount of swelling in his right foot and his ability to push off the foot and make throws.

Overtime:

  • Ken Whisenhunt was surprisingly blunt when asked about second-year nose tackle Dan Williams
  • "I wish that he (Williams) hadn't been in such poor shape when we started camp because that set him back. It seems like now he's just catching up to where we hoped he would be. It's obvious he's in better shape (now). His weight's down. He's making some of those plays that we got to see a little bit at the end of the year last year and got so excited about. Disappointing that it didn't start earlier for him but I'm glad that he has gotten better."
  • Defensive coordinator is impressed with rookie OLB Sam Acho:
  • "Fresh legs, enthusiasm, some youth, some speed. He's a very a very smart player and he came up with a big play in the game last week. His role will keep expanding and we'll try and give him as much as he can handle which seems to be a lot right now."
  • Horton thinks the next step for the defense is learning how to finish games and realize that opponents aren't going to quit.

For more on the Cardinals, visit Revenge of the Birds blog.

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