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Updated Dec 27, 2011 - 9:34 am

The Cardinals need to do right by Kolb

Arizona Cardinals' Kevin Kolb (4) walks off the field after an injury during the first quarter in an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)

The Arizona Cardinals have been eliminated from playoff contention, making Sunday's season finale against the Seattle Seahawks virtually meaningless.

But it's not totally meaningless -- the Cards and 'Hawks are battling for 2nd place in the division and both are playing to even their records at 8-8 and avoid a losing season.

But there is not nearly enough meaning in this game for the Cardinals to even consider playing quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Kolb suffered a concussion when he took a knee to the back of the head on the Cardinals' first possession in a 21-19 win over San Francisco on December 11th. He hasn't played since.

And he shouldn't play again until OTAs this spring.

Monday, head coach Ken Whisenhunt talked about Kolb's symptoms, and didn't paint a very rosy picture about what's happening with the Cardinals' signal caller.

"He felt good, but when he got to the game Saturday and he got out on the field, he didn't feel great," Whisenhunt said, citing the crowd noise and bright sunlight as detriments to how Kolb felt.

"It's going to be a day-to-day thing with him, until he can get through without little symptoms every day that seem to come up," Whisenhunt said. "We've got to make sure that we err with the side of caution with that."

I agree. The most cautious thing to do is let John Skelton play, let Richard Bartel back him up, and let Kevin Kolb continue his recovery, while wearing street clothes on the Cardinals' sideline.

I know players want to play -- especially a player like Kolb, who has voiced frustration over missing substantial playing time with a turf toe injury earlier this year. Kolb got paid big bucks upon his arrival in the desert, and many doubted whether his seven career starts warranted $63 million.

A lot of those people are still wondering. And you know what? Let 'em keep wondering.

We don't need to go back very far in history to see the end of another quarterback's career because of concussions.

Arizona State junior Steven Threet was sacked on a seemingly innocuous hit from UCLA's Sean Westgate early in ASU's 55-34 win last November. But it was enough to give Threet a concussion, which was his fourth in the last five seasons.

Three months later, Threet decided enough was enough, and he retired from football before playing his senior collegiate season.

Kolb also suffered a concussion last season while playing in Philadelphia -- and he returned to the game after sustaining the injury.

Kolb's concussion saga also comes on the heels of an Associated Press survey that interviewed 44 NFL players about concussions. Over 52% of the respondents said they would try to hide their injury and stay in the game.

Thankfully, Kolb has done the right thing. He hasn't hidden his injury despite the desire to get back on the field.

It's time for the Arizona Cardinals to do the right thing now too.

Keep Kevin Kolb on the bench Sunday vs. Seattle.


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