In the NFL, there’s a reason why there are backups to starters, because that starter could fall at anytime, and it’s up to the backup to step in and carry the load.
That very situation occurred at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, as Cardinals quarterback John Skelton suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter, which forced Kevin Kolb into action.
Kolb looked calm and composed, considering the situation he and his team was in.
Kolb took his team down the field, and hooked up with wide receiver Andre Roberts on a six-yard touchdown pass, which proved to be the game winning score, as the Cardinals downed the Seahawks 20-16.
On the drive, Kolb had 66 yards passing on 6-of-8 passing.
Earlier in the week, Kolb said he would be ready to go if the team needed him. The team definitely needed him to step up and Kolb delivered.
“The thing I said all along is trust in God’s plan, and that’s what I kept telling myself,” Kolb said. “That’s the only way I stayed up and stayed focused.”
The offense ran the two-minute offense to near perfection on the drive. Kolb says everyone on the field worked in unison to make things happen.
“It just seems with our team, whoever the quarterback is, it seems to gel pretty good,” Kolb said. “Everybody looked confident. As soon as we got a couple of them, we got the guys [Seahawks defense] tired and we started rolling.”
Whisenhunt said the team was going to move to the hurry-up offense in the fourth quarter, as it was in their plans. Fortunately for them, Kolb operated it with precision.
“I think that he is very comfortable in that offense, he runs it very well,” Whisenhunt said. “Kevin had a lot of success in the last game when he did that [Titans game], and he did well with it today.”
Being the second-string quarterback, you obviously don’t get many reps with the first team offense, if you get any at all.
Larry Fitzgerald couldn’t be happier for Kolb’s success on Sunday.
“Kevin’s a really good teammate, we really wouldn’t expect anything different from him,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s dealt with some adversity in his time here, but he’s still a great teammate and he’s committed to his time with us.”
UPDATE: Whisenhunt provided an update on Skelton’s injury, via Mark Dalton, Cardinals Vice President of Media Relations.
“Regarding the injury to John’s right ankle, preliminary tests indicate there is no fracture, and it appears to be a sprain,” Whisenhunt said. “We will have a better idea on severity and potential time loss in the next day or so.”