NFL Notes: Skelton gives Cards life

Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton throws under pressure from the Philadelphia Eagles...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton throws under pressure from the Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Derek Landri (94) during the third quarter of their NFL football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 13, 2011. (REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:46 PM ET

Quarterback John Skelton is hardly the second coming of Kurt Warner but in two emergency starts as a replacement for Kevin Kolb he has come up with two victories which is one more than Kolb was able to accomplish in the Arizona Cardinals’ opening seven games of the season.

In their past two games, the Cardinals defeated the St. Louis Rams in overtime and last week drove the final stake through the Philadelphia Eagles’ fading playoff hopes by leading the Cards to a 21-17 victory.

This week the Cardinals have the daunting task of facing the 8-1 49ers in San Francisco but at least it looks as if they’ll be starting their hot hand in Skelton.

Skelton hasn’t taken over the No. 1 spot with his recent performances. Rather, it’s the simple matter of Kolb hasn’t fully recovered from an injury to his right foot.

Kolb has been moving gingerly in practice with Skelton taking the majority of reps with the offence.

In last week’s shocking win, Skeleton tossed two interceptions that led to 10 Philadelphia points but on the bright side he threw three TD passes.

If Skelton can lead the team over the 49ers, the quarterback situation could change.

EVANS COULD GIVE RAVENS FLIGHT

The acquisition of wide receiver Lee Evans was supposed to be a key component to an upgraded Baltimore Ravens offence.

Instead, Evans has been the invisible man as he has been out of action the past seven games with an ankle injury. The Ravens, who are at home this week and stinging from a loss last week in Seattle, are hoping that Evans will be back in the lineup on Sunday when they play host to the Cincinnati Bengals. If so, it will give the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco a speedy target that will take the pressure of Anquan Boldin.

“We’ll make a determination later in the week,” Evans told reporters about his availability. “Last week was real positive. So, this week could be even better and I’ll have a real shot. You can see how it responds throughout the week. I’m optimistic about this week. It has been tough, but you go through different things throughout a season and a career. This is just another obstacle. Hopefully, we’re on the tail end of it and we can put it behind us.”

If Evans can get back into action it could provide the Ravens with an offensive spark for their final push towards the playoffs.

BUCS FEEL FREEMAN’S SORE THUMB

In a word, Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has been terrible this season.

His inconsistent play and failure to move the team and come up with a big play at crucial times of the game is a major reason that the Buccaneers are 4-5 and heading towards another third-place finish in the NFC South.

Part of the problem is that Freeman has been operating with a sprained right thumb, an injury he sustained in a 24-18 loss to the Bears when the teams played in England back on Oct. 23. He admitted the other day that it has been bothering him “maybe a little bit.”

Freeman added that he wasn’t using the injury as an excuse for the Bucs record or his play — he has thrown 13 interceptions against nine touchdowns.

“Being out there, you have to play well enough to win,” Freeman told reporters. “The thumb is continuing to get better. It’s feeling great, I’d say nearly 100% right now. It’s not something I’m concerned about. It’s basically normal.”

If Freeman isn’t using his thumb as an excuse, neither is head coach Raheem Morris.

“In my eyes, I don’t see it as a factor,” Morris said. “My young quarterback, his job is to go out there and deliver the football with precision and timing, and that’s what he has to do.

“We definitely won’t make excuses for our losing streak right now for a sprained thumb. Nobody cares. Our job is to go win football games, and that’s what we plan to do.”

The Bucs have lost three in a row and this week travel to Green Bay.

That’s not the spot to travel to when you’re looking to snap a losing streak.

TEBOW MANIA

Denver quarterback Tim Tebow hasn’t been sighted walking on water but that hasn’t stopped his fans from believing he is capable.

In Denver, some fans have removed Tebow’s name on the back of the Broncos jersey with the number 15 (Tebow’s number) and replaced it with Jesus.

Tebow is a devout Christian and although he has been mocked in some quarters for his beliefs, he is not passing judgment on the motives of those who have placed the Jesus name on his jersey.

“I don’t know what to think about that because I don’t know where people’s hearts are,” Tebow told the Denver Post. “It’s important to not judge without knowing their hearts. If their heart is to honour the Lord, then it’s a good thing. Only God can judge because only God knows what’s truly in a person’s heart.”

Heading into Thursday night’s home game against the Jets, Tebow has led the Broncos to a 3-1 record.


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