VINCE MAROTTA

The Cardinals need to do right by Kolb

Dec 27, 2011, 4:10 PM | Updated: 4:34 pm

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.

Vince Marotta

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The Cardinals need to do right by Kolb