Kolb's X-rays negative, Skelton could get nod


Kolb's X-rays negative, Skelton could get nod

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Embattled Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb took one hit too many, and it's uncertain whether he will be able to return to lead the Cardinals against the Vikings at Minnesota next Sunday, or will turn the job over to John Skelton.

Kolb injured his ribs while being sacked for the fifth time in Sunday's wild 19-16 overtime loss to Buffalo. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said X-rays were negative for anything broken.

``We are getting an MRI done on him today just to make sure there's not something that we're missing,'' Whisenhunt said Monday. ``He was pretty sore this morning, which you would expect, but he was moving around.''

Kolb was moving around a whole lot - in a hurry - on Sunday, as Arizona's sieve of an offensive line again had Kolb running for his football life. His unscripted scampers provided some of the Cardinals' best offense of the day. Kolb gained 66 yards in 5 carries.

``He got sacked eight times (actually nine) last week,'' Arizona left guard Daryn Colledge said, ``so I think he learned he had to run.''

Of course, when a quarterback takes off running, bad things can happen, too.

With the Cardinals down 16-13 and time wasting away, a holding penalty on tackle D'Anthony Batiste made it 1st and 20 from the Arizona 19. Again, Kolb was under duress, but he broke free for a 22-yard run that gave the Cardinals (4-2) a first down at the Arizona 41.

The next play, Kolb checked off at the line of scrimmage and called a draw play. Running back William Powell didn't realize it and Kolb was left alone with the football. He didn't quite make it to the line of scrimmage for what was ruled Buffalo's fifth sack. He was slammed to the turf with the football painfully pinned between his ribs and the ground.

Finally, Kolb got to his feet and came to the sidelines.

Skelton, active for the first time since spraining his left ankle in the season opener, came on and threw three straight incompletions. But on fourth and 10, Skelton found Larry Fitzgerald over the middle to the Buffalo 43. Three more incomplete passes followed.

Jay Feely lined up and, with room to spare, nailed a franchise-record 61-yard field goal to tie the game 16-16 with 1:09 to play. Those football gremlins at University of Phoenix Stadium seemed to be working their magic again. After all, Arizona had won eight in a row at home, five in overtime, the rest with other forms of hair-raising finishes.

A short punt and a 28-yard pass from Skelton to Fitzgerald to the Buffalo 20 set up Feely's 38-yard field goal attempt- a cinch it would seem after he booted two from 49 yards and the 61-yarder. But Buffalo's mountainous Alex Carrington got his hand on the kick, the ball bounced off the upright and overtime followed.

The Cardinals took a punt at their 20 and Skelton's pass over the middle was intercepted by Jarius Byrd to set up Rian Lindell's game-winning 25-yard chip shot.

Coincidentally, Kolb's only interception of the day came on that very same play, by the very same player.

Skelton, who beat out Kolb for the starting job in the preseason, was understandably rusty, completing 2 of 10 for 45 yards. The two completions, though, could have been enough to win this one.

``The fourth-down throw to Larry was a big-time throw, and the throw to Larry on the slant that put us down to the 20 was another good throw,'' Whisenhunt said. ``But the interception was not. That's one of those where you can't make that throw. John did well enough in there to give us a chance to win in regulation, and had we made that kick we would have felt very good about everything.''

Whisenhunt said it's far too early to talk about whether Kolb could play at Minnesota, the first of a challenging series of games over the next month. Arizona is home for a Monday night game against San Francisco on Oct. 29, followed by a trip to Green Bay, a bye, and a visit to Atlanta, currently the league's only unbeaten team.

As bad as the Cardinals have looked, particularly on offense, the team is counting on its stout defense - which has allowed no more than 21 points in any game - to keep a season that started so surprisingly well from crumbling to pieces, regardless of who is the quarterback. That player, however, must be kept upright. The five sacks Arizona allowed makes it 22 in three games.

``We know we're going to be in the game at the end of it. We've got a great defense,'' Colledge said. ``They've given us an opportunity every single week to be in a game. `'


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Redskins are keeping Greg Manusky, and they swear it's not because the other guys said no

Redskins are keeping Greg Manusky, and they swear it's not because the other guys said no

In the weeks since the 2018 season ended, the Redskins have had various levels of contact with Todd Bowles, Steve Wilks and Gregg Williams.

All three men have extensive experience as defensive coordinators and all three men got new jobs already this offseason in that position. 

Now, after Bowles, Wilks and Williams picked up those new jobs, The Washington Post reported that the Redskins will keep Greg Manusky as defensive coorinator. He's already under contract. 

The meetings with all the other guys? A source told the Post that the Redskins wanted to get "different perspectives" on improving the defense for 2019.

Different perspectives. From the three hottest coordinator names on the coaching market. Sure. 

That said, Manusky is not the sole reason the Redskins fell apart in the second half of the 2018 season. In fact, he's probably not in the Top 5 reasons. 

The Washington defense improved in Manusky's second season as defensive coordinator and looked like a fierce unit in the first half of the year. The team made tremendous strides in rush defense and proved to be quite good at forcing turnovers.

Late in the season, verbal spats with safety DJ Swearinger might have undermined Manusky's status with the defense. But the team decided to release Swearinger, cementing the coach's authority. It also helped that emerging leader Jonathan Allen came out and vocally supported Manusky and his defensive schemes. 

At this point, the Redskins have no choice but to say the team was keeping Manusky all along.

If the organization was interested in other candidates at defensive coordinator, and it sure seemed like they were, those guys found other jobs. The marketplace isn't packed with other candidates with brighter resumes to replace Manusky, so the team is smart to bring back the incumbent. 

The process was awkward, regardless of what gets said now. Manusky is a professional, and has been coaching in the NFL for more than a decade. He understands how business gets done. 

Now, Manusky will be back, and there is good young talent on the Redskins defense, especially up front. 

The guess here is Manusky will say he always expected to be back and never stopped working on getting better for 2019. Now he gets the chance to show it. 


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You're going to love Chris Thompson's story about the time he first met Adrian Peterson

You're going to love Chris Thompson's story about the time he first met Adrian Peterson

Chris Thompson is an accomplished player in the NFL. Despite being a fifth round pick, Thompson has made it to a second contract, something more than half of the league never does. 

In six seasons with the Redskins, Thompson has nearly 2,500 yards from scrimmage and 15 touchdowns. At times, he's been among the best third down backs in the NFL. 

This is a long way of establishing that Chris Thompson is an accomplised football player. Redskins fans know that.

Adrian Peterson didn't. 

Not many people would share that story, so good for Thompson for doing it. Let's add that Peterson joined the Redskins after offseason workouts and training camp, the normal time for new players to get to know each other. Peterson signed up with the Redskins in the middle of August, well after the regular get-to-know-you period had closed. 

Still, that's a tough break for Thompson. 

Peterson is a legend in the NFL, one of the best running backs to ever play the game. When he joined the Redskins, a number of players watched him work in practice with the hint of awe in their eyes. He proved to be a great teammate and a strong presence in the locker room.

By the end of the year, Peterson was obviously a leader for the Redskins. Players looked up to him, even if he didn't know their name when the year started.


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