Longtime Arizona Cardinals fans will remember quarterback Kevin Kolb. He was the quarterback team trade for, believing he was the answer as their franchise quarterback a year after Kurt Warner’s retirement.
However, his two seasons were marred with injuries.
Kolb missed time with a severe case of turf toe and then a concussion later in the season. However, he suffered a concussion earlier in the year he never disclosed, he revealed to Tyler Dunne.
Kolb suffered a concussion in the second week of the season against the Washington Redskins when he was hit very hard by Brian Orakpo. He never told anyone but suffered for six weeks.
It was the second concussion in his career, although no one knew it.
He continued to play through the issues.
He felt trapped. Completely, utterly trapped. That’s the best way to describe the next six weeks of Kevin Kolb’s life. He repeats the word several times. After Concussion No. 2, Arizona lost six straight games. Kolb wasn’t himself and felt like there was absolutely nothing he could say about it.
The pressure was too suffocating. This team had just made him one of the richest players in the sport — Kolb needed to play. Especially after four years of waiting. He never said a word to the training staff. Loss… after loss… after loss… led to more “heartache,” more “depression.” Kolb faded into an unknown all alone — and he wasn’t exactly sure what was wrong. Was he feeling this way because he was depressed? Sleep-deprived? Emotionally exhausted due to the season caving in? In the moment, Kolb wasn’t sure.
Only later did he realize the concussion from Orakpo’s hit triggered all the above.
He finally recovered from the concussion two weeks after the Cardinals’ bye against the Baltimore Ravens.
It was that game he injured his toe. He “ripped every ligament in his toe” in the first half. While team doctors said he should come out, head coach Ken Whisenhunt told him to keep playing. The Cardinals went from leading 24-3 to losing 30-27, their sixth straight loss.
He was out for the next four weeks with turf toe. But after he returned to lead the Cardinals to an overtime win over the Cowboys, he took a knee to the helmet in his second game back, giving him his second concussion of the season — although it was only the first, according to the team.
He would be out the rest of the season.
In the offseason, he advised the team that he would retire if he suffered another concussion.
The Cardinals had a quarterback competition in training camp between him and John Skelton. Skelton was named the starter but Kolb would play in six games that season.
He entered the game in the season opener and led the team on a game-winning drive and then remained in the lineup, leading the Cardinals to a 4-0 start. After getting sacked nine times in Week 4, his season came to an end the next week when he broke his sternum.
He would not play another regular-season game in the NFL.
After getting released by the Cardinals in 2013, he signed with the Buffalo Bills, injured his knee when he slipped on a wet surface and then suffered his fourth and final concussion in a preseason game, prompting him to end his playing career.
Kolb went on to struggle post-career with the effects of the head trauma he suffered.