It’s the NFL preseason when anything can, and often does, happen. Quarterback battles are usually a good focus, and we’ve got one brewing in Arizona. John Skelton has been named the Arizona Cardinals‘ starter for their second preseason game. Not that this announcement comes as a big surprise.
The surprise may be that it has nothing to do with Kevin Kolb‘s injured ribs. Even though Kolb left the Hall of Fame game after getting hurt against the New Orleans Saints, the Associated Press is reporting that head coach Ken Whisenhunt had planned all along to give Skelton the preseason Game 2 start.
While that might sound like a viable explanation to some, it would seem that it’s a good indication which direction Whisenhunt is leaning. It’s doubtful that a final decision on who the full-time starter will be has been made yet, but Kolb’s less than stellar (and brief) performance in Game 1 may have left Whisenhunt reflecting on the Willie McGinest report that Cardinals players actually preferred Skelton over Kolb.
For now, who will be the starter in Week 1 of the regular season may still be up for grabs, but it’s apparent that Skelton does have the upper hand, and that Kolb is no longer the anointed one. If the battle is still truly on, then both Kolb and Skelton will play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday, and again in the third preseason game. But if Kolb comes out with another performance like he did against the Saints on Sunday, it may actually be a moot point.
If Skelton does win the job, the big problem for the Cardinals then becomes, why are they paying a backup quarterback $59 million over the next five years?