RB Tim Hightower's late-season surge continued with a career day last week against the Broncos.
Cardinals: Pregame News and Notes
Skelton's first seven passes were completions, something he didn't realize at the time. "When you see a stat like that, it's kind of eye-popping," Skelton said.
--Skelton is not an excitable person, but he admitted to a little nervousness before his first start. His teammates couldn't tell.
"The kid's real cool," right tackle Jeremy Bridges said. "He don't get rattled. Sometimes I think he's too laid back."
--Jay Feely scored 25 points in the win against the Broncos, the second most for a kicker in league history. Tennessee's Rob Bironas had 26 in 2007. Feely scored 22 consecutive points. According to Elias Stats Bureau, that's the most consecutive points by a player since Paul Hornung had scored 24 points against Baltimore in 1961. Feely's 5-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal was the first touchdown ever scored by a Cardinals kicker and the fourth rushing touchdown by a kicker since the NFL merger in 1970.
"More than anything I did, I am just truly happy to get a win," Feely said, "because those seven weeks have just been a grind. For this team, from where it's been the last couple years (the playoffs), to lose seven straight, it was so big to kind of get that monkey off our back."
--This year the Cardinals have become just the second team since 1970 merger to start two rookie quarterbacks in their first 13 games. The Broncos did it in 1983 with John Elway and Gary Kubiak.
--QB Derek Anderson, who has started nine games, has yet to pass neurological tests required to play after suffering a concussion. Anderson is suffering from headaches after physical exertion and must be free of symptoms for 24 hours before receiving clearance.
--QB John Skelton, a rookie, will start his second consecutive game this Sunday. Skelton is 1-0 as a starter but completed only 15 of 37 passes for 146 yards in the victory over Denver.
--QB Richard Bartel, signed just more than a week ago, likely will be the backup quarterback against the Panthers. He has never taken a snap in a regular-season game.
--RB Tim Hightower continues to start ahead of Beanie Wells but the club has struggled to stick with the run because it's fallen behind in games. Hightower rushed for 148 yards last week, a career high.
--RB Beanie Wells has been ill since last Saturday, but was starting to recover by the end of this week. Provided he is properly hydrated, Wells should be fine for Sunday's game.
--RB LaRod Stephens-Howling will play on third downs. He could see more action if either Tim Hightower or Beanie Wells is limited for some reason.
--RB Jason Wright will play a limited amount in some passing situations.
--WR Steve Breaston continues to be the team's biggest downfield threat. Breaston has the speed to stretch the field and runs well after the catch.
--WR Early Doucet is playing the third receiver and has done little this year. He rarely seems open and he's not doing anything with the ball once he gets it.
--WR Larry Fitzgerald passed Anquan Boldin to become the team's all-time leader in receptions. Fitzgerald needs two touchdowns to tie Roy Green for the franchise lead at 66. Fitzgerald has not scored in the last three games and has only one touchdown in the last six.
--TE Stephen Spach is mainly a blocker and will rarely be a target in the passing game. --TE Jim Dray has moved ahead of Ben Patrick as the backup tight end. Dray isn't much of a receiving threat.
--PK Jay Feely has a strong leg and had made 18 consecutive field goals until missing last week from 49 yards. He is dealing with a groin strain that has limited him in practice.
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