Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb is on the mend, albeit slowly, from the painful injury to his ribs, but it isn't likely we'll see him in the starting lineup in Week 12 against the St. Louis Rams.
According to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com:
[Ken] Whisenhunt said he expects Kolb to “work back into practice some” this week, but what that means in terms of availability is an unknown. Even when he does return, as Kolb himself has said, how well he can hold up will ultimately only be able to be determined by actually playing in a game.
It's important to remember that Kolb's injury was and still is a painful one, as he suffered "multiple ribs detached from his sternum and he suffered a sprained sternoclavicular joint in his chest area," (h/t ESPN.com's Adam Schefter).
Given the weekly tragedy that is the Cardinals offensive line (44 sacks through 10 games—10 more than any other team in the NFL), I'll be surprised if Whisenhunt inserts Kolb back into the starting lineup any sooner than Week 13 against the New York Jets.
With a record of 4-6 and a six-game losing streak underway, the Cardinals have all but played themselves out of a playoff spot.
Rushing Kolb back into the starting lineup won't change the team's horrendous offensive line. If anything, putting him back into the game before his ribs are fully healed is almost guaranteed to get Kolb hurt again.
Will Kolb start another game for the Cardinals in 2012?
Whisenhunt seems to believe that Ryan Lindley can improve upon his play of a week ago, saying, “The way he’s handled himself mentally, the way he’s worked physically, there’s a lot of things you like about it,” according to Urban's report.
I don't expect Kolb to return to the starting lineup in Week 12, and if Lindley performs well against the Rams, it might be a long time before Kolb gets another crack at a starting gig.