UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 16 at 12:05 p.m. ET, by Alex Kay
John Skelton is officially out for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.
According to Darren Urban of the Arizona Cardinals' official blog, Skelton is one of six inactive players for the Red Birds.
Kevin Kolb will get the start in his place, the backup QB who the organization traded for in order to be their franchise signalcaller.
He's got a tall task ahead of him against this retooled Patriots defense.
Kolb is 3-6 as the starter for the Cardinals and may soon fall to 3-10.
---END OF UPDATE---
UPDATE: September 13 at 11 a.m. ET by Rob Goldberg
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Skelton will not be the starter on Sunday.
Cardinals plan to start Kevin Kolb on Sunday vs. New England Patriots.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 13, 2012
Kevin Kolb performed well in relief of Skelton against the Seahawks in Week 1. He completed six of his eight pass attempts, including the go-ahead touchdown to Andre Roberts.
Unfortunately, he led the Cardinals to a 3-6 record as a starter last season.
-----End of Update-----
Skelton dropped back to pass in the fourth quarter and found Andre Roberts for a first down. However, Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane made the hit as he threw, and the 24-year-old’s ankle was twisted on the play.
Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated originally reported via Twitter that Skelton’s ankle did not break:
Skelton's ankle is not broken. He'll be treated for a high ankle sprain. #cardinals— Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) September 10, 2012
Phoenix-area radio host Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910 was one of the first to add that Skelton may miss up to six weeks with the sprain:
Hearing #Cards QB John Skelton has a high ankle sprain (could B out 4-6 wks) will B re-evaluated tomorrow, Kolb will start in New England.— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) September 10, 2012
It was later confirmed on Tuesday, September 11 by NBC's Mike Florio that Skelton will miss 2-4 weeks with a low ankle sprain:
A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Skelton currently is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a low ankle sprain that initially was believed to be the more serious high ankle sprain.
At one point on Monday, the thinking was that Skelton could be back by Week Three, when the Eagles come to town. Instead, it appears that Kevin Kolb will get the call when the Cardinals go to New England in Week Two, host Kolb’s Eagles the next Sunday, possibly the Dolphins in Week Four, and even on the high end face the Rams when the Cardinals go to St. Louis on a short week for Week Five.
Fantasy owners who had plans to play Skelton next week should be looking to their bench, the waiver wire or a trade if necessary.
Whenever Skelton is able to play, he has virtually no fantasy value. He was 14-of-28 for 149 yards with no touchdowns and an interception when he left the game versus Seattle. He was not impressive when healthy, and he will not perform any better if he plays injured or when his ankle heals.
Kevin Kolb presents an intriguing option. He was finally able to deliver a fine performance to the Arizona fans after losing out on the starting job to Skelton.
Kolb—who played the remainder of the game against Seattle—has not yet officially been named the starter, but he will almost certainly be Arizona's quarterback when the team next takes the field against New England.
Kolb led one drive and completed six of his eight passes, capping it off with a six-yard pass to Roberts for the game-winning touchdown. Eight passes is an extremely small sample size to put up against Kolb’s previous poor performances, but succeeding under the conditions he was put in is extremely difficult.
New England’s offense looked as potent as it has been in past seasons, and the Cardinals will likely be playing from behind for much of the game. This will give Kolb plenty of throwing opportunities against a secondary that hemorrhaged yardage last season.
Fantasy owners who had Skelton on their roster should look at Kolb as a possible replacement. He is available in over 99 percent of ESPN leagues.