Skelton 1, Kolb 0
Skelton 1, Kolb 0
Yep. That's about right.
All of our fears about Kevin Kolb were realized in the first 15 minutes of the preseason. The biggest of which has nothing to do with performance. It has to do with the ability to stay on a football field.
Concerns about Kolb have morphed from "is he good enough" to "can he stay upright long enough". Last night's chest injury is merely the latest example and an unfortunate metaphor for the big picture problem facing Kolb. The pick was bad. The injury worse.
Some will say I'm questioning Kolb's toughness; his willingness to play through the injuries that have plagued him over the last calendar year. Not at all. As Mike Sando pointed out on his ESPN NFC West blog, Kolb would have been a fool for playing through a concussion late last year and it was pointless to gut it out during a silly preseason game. Ken Whisenhunt correctly pointed out that it irrational to make judgments this early in the process.
But the facts remain. He's played in a little more than half of the games in his Cardinals tenure. And once again, as Sando notes, this is the fourth consecutive preseason or regular season that an injury has knocked out Kolb.
I will say this though; at the start of camp the NFL Network's Willie McGinest suggested that the players he was talking to in the Cardinals locker room favored Skelton over Kolb. While this report was dismissed as hooey, I thought at the time that - hypothetically, if it were true - it was in part because the players may view Skelton was able (notice I did not write "willing") to absorb the punishment in ways that Kolb would seem to struggle with.
Either way, the smile on Skelton's face was obvious every time the cameras cut to him Sunday night. He knows his candidacy took a step forward with his steady play during the TD drive. And in a moment that some may consider revelatory and some will describe as merely interesting, as Kolb was gingerly walking off the field, Skelton approached him to give him a high five. Kolb left him hanging. The pain of yet another injury and a night gone horribly wrong was apparently just too much to bear.