Arizona’s John Skelton will be back at starting quarterback when the Cardinals play the Seahawks on Sunday in Seattle.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt, whose team is mired in an eight-game losing streak, announced after Wednesday’s practice that Skelton would replace rookie Ryan Lindley after two starts.
Whisenhunt said the environment that the Cardinals will face in Seattle — where the crowd is among the loudest in the NFL and the conditions are likely to be cold and wet — was “one of many factors” in his decision.
Skelton called it “another opportunity.”
“You can’t take any opportunity for granted,” he said. “If it comes at the beginning of the season, the end of the season, when you’re losing, when you’re winning, you’ve just got to take advantage of every opportunity you get.”
Skelton, a third-year pro from Fordham, beat out Kevin Kolb for the starting job in preseason, then went down late in the opener against Seattle with an ankle injury. Kolb came on to direct the winning touchdown drive against the Seahawks and helped the team get off to a 4-0 start.
When Kolb went out with a rib injury against Buffalo, Skelton came on and started the next four games before being benched in favor of Lindley early in a loss to Atlanta three weeks ago.
Last Sunday, with Lindley making his second NFL start, the Cardinals had one of their worst offensive performances in franchise history in a 7-6 loss at the New York Jets. Arizona tied a franchise record with five first downs and was 0 for 15 on third-down conversions. Lindley completed 10 of 31 passes for 72 yards and an interception.
Lindley, a sixth-round draft pick out of San Diego State, said he understood and respected the decision.
“When you don’t perform like that, you don’t have much ground to argue on,” he said. “I didn’t play to where I think I’m capable. John’s going to step up and do his thing. I’m going to go to work and be the backup and be there if they need me.”
ROETHLISBERGER CLOSE TO RETURNING
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went through his first serious workout since injuring his shoulder and dislocating a rib Nov. 12. He reported no major issues after letting it loose following a three-week layoff and seems on track to start Sunday’s game against San Diego.
“I’m getting there,” Roethlisberger said.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has declined to name Roethlisberger the starter against the Chargers but sounded very much like a coach running out of reasons to keep his team’s most valuable player on the sideline.
“I thought it was a positive day for Ben,” Tomlin said. “He threw the ball around both vertically and horizontally. I thought the ball had good velocity, particularly in a few instances. So, it was positive.”
The Titans placed veteran guard Steve Hutchinson, a former Seahawks star, on injured reserve because of an injured right knee and claimed guard Mitch Petrus off waivers from the Patriots. … The Vikings placed wide receiver Percy Harvin on injured reserve because of a severely sprained ankle. He was injured during a Nov. 4 game at Seattle. …
The Packers signed running back Ryan Grant, who played for the team from 2007-11 and is fifth on the franchise’s all-time rushing list with 4,016 career yards. … The Texans signed veteran cornerback Stanford Routt after placing Brice McCain (foot) on injured reserve with a designation for return. … Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay was placed on injured reserve because of a partially torn ligament in his neck. …
Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who witnessed Jovan Belcher take his own life last weekend, gave a eulogy for the fallen player during a one-hour memorial service attended by many Chiefs players, coaches and staff members.