Cards remain focused with playoff long shot

Ken Whisenhunt (Getty)

With five victories in their last six games, the Arizona Cardinals have made themselves relevant again.

With five victories in their last six games, the Cardinals have made themselves relevant again.

At 6-7, they remain in contention for a wildcard spot, although the odds aren't great. Coach Ken Whisenhunt is trying to keep his players focused on the present and each day of work, rather than dreaming of playoff scenarios.

"I know that we are still alive obviously," he said, "but we aren't going to get into the scenarios or what happens, this or that, or anything like that. None of it matters if we don't win this week, and that's the approach we have taken the last six weeks."

The Cardinals again enter a week not knowing who will start at quarterback.

Starter Kevin Kolb sustained a concussion on the third play last week against the 49ers and is going through the NFL protocol for returning to play.

Kolb's situation likely won't be clarified through the week. Like most teams, the Cardinals aren't forthcoming with injury information.

The best indicator, as usual, is practice time. Kolb, 27, isn't that experienced and this is his first season with the team. It's not likely that he would miss significant time and still start on Sunday against the Browns.

That would mean John Skelton would start for the fifth time this season. The Cardinals are 3-1 in his starts, and they also won last week with Skelton playing nearly the entire game. Skelton improved from his previous two outings, becoming the first Cardinals quarterback since 1960 to come off the bench and throw at least three touchdown passes.

But Skelton had some rough spots, too, as he did in his previous starts.

The Cardinals are winning with great defense, not because of anything the offense is doing. The defense has yielded only six touchdowns over the past six games.

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