John Skelton earned the Arizona Cardinals quarterback job out of training camp, lost it due to an injury suffered in Week 1, got it back after his replacement went down, and lost it again a few weeks later.
The third-year pro’s roller coaster ride of a season continued Wednesday, as head coach Ken Whisenhunt announced Skelton would start Sunday’s game in Seattle.
“It’s another opportunity, you can’t take any opportunity for granted,” Skelton said of the decision. “If it comes at the beginning of the season, at the end of the season, when you’re losing, when you’re winning, you just have to take advantage of whatever opportunity you get.”
Skelton has failed to do that thus far this season, completing just 55 percent of his passes for 1,058 yards and two touchdowns against five interceptions. His quarterback rating of 64 is one of the lowest in the NFL, though many felt he was still the team’s best option under center as long as Kevin Kolb is still sidelined with an injury.
That he was replaced by sixth round pick Ryan Lindley three weeks ago and was unable to get back on the field the last two weeks — even while the rookie struggled mightily — was a sign, it was believed, that Skelton’s time in Arizona may have come to an end.
But now he gets another shot, and it’s one the quarterback says he’s been ready for ever since he was initially pulled.
That said, he said his experience over the last few weeks has been “humbling”.
“I think me being kind of even-keeled kind of helps the situation,” he said. “I don’t let myself worry about it too much; I know that it’s part of the game.”
Skelton admitted it was frustrating standing on the sidelines watching as the team struggled to move the ball, and said he didn’t worry himself with the thoughts that he may not ever get another shot.
“Whether it came or not, I prepared, I watched the film, I studied the game plan, I took the mental reps in practice,” he said. “Whether it came or not, I was going to be ready.”
So now comes back with a chance to fix both his season and the team’s issues, and he knows he must play better than he has.
“I think my biggest concern would be completing more balls,” he said, noting he did not play well before being pulled in Atlanta. “I’m just going to do my best out there, and whatever happens happens.”