ARIZONA CARDINALS

Kyler Murray takes hit, 49ers run all over to tank Cardinals’ playoff hopes

Dec 26, 2020, 5:38 PM | Updated: 6:05 pm
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) eludes the reach of San Francisco 49ers defensive en...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) eludes the reach of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Kerry Hyder (92) during the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Kyler Murray took a hit and remained on the turf for a few minutes after throwing an incomplete pass in his Arizona Cardinals’ 20-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.

The play, which happened with 14 seconds left in the game, added another layer to Arizona’s loss that submarined its playoff hopes. Murray walked off the field under his own power and was healthy enough to greet 49ers players at the end of the game.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Murray was being evaluated for a leg injury and had no update after the game.

Murray was not made available to reporters.

It had already been a disappointing day for the Cardinals (8-7), whose playoff odds fell to 37% with the loss, according to FiveThirtyEight.

The Chicago Bears (7-7) can catch Arizona and grab the final NFC Wild Card spot by winning out. They face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday and the Green Bay Packers in the season finale on Jan. 3.

On Saturday, San Francisco, with third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard leading the offense. rushed for 227 yards and 7.6 yards per carry against the Cardinals.

A key series defined a disjointed game.

Trailing 14-12 and with 9:04 left in the game, Arizona had the ball and went for it on 4th-and-2 at their own 35-yard line. Murray’s pass was batted down at the line, and the 49ers used a 34-yard rush by Jeff Wilson and a one-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk to go up 20-12.

Only 8:36 remained in the game, and it appeared Arizona would have to score twice to keep their playoff odds healthy. But 49ers kicker Robbie Gould missed the extra point attempt, and that gave the Cardinals better odds.

It turned out not to matter.

Arizona drove 61 yards over 10 plays and four minutes, but from the 49ers’ 14-yard line, Murray tossed an interception in the end zone to Ahkello Witherspoon.

The 49ers burned 3:32 off the clock but their drive stalled, and Gould couldn’t put the game away, missing a 37-yard field goal attempt with 1:05 left.

That led to one last chance for the Cardinals, but Murray ran out time on their last chance on fourth down, flinging the ball before taking the aforementioned hits.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Zach Allen (94) celebrates his sack against the San Francisco 49ers...
Tyler Drake

Back at it: Kliff Kingsbury, Cardinals use bye week to their advantage

While the time away from the football field is needed for any team, there's a fine line between refueling and getting complacent.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Ward runs through a drill during training camp Thursday, July 29, 202...
Jake Anderson

Arizona Cardinals place RB Jonathan Ward on Reserve/COVID-19 list

The Arizona Cardinals placed RB Jonathan Ward on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. He has not played since Oct. 28 due to a concussion.
1 day ago
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields warms up before an NFL football game against the Baltimore ...
Tyler Drake

The final countdown: A look at the Cardinals’ remaining matchups in 2021

With the bye done and over with, it's time for the Arizona Cardinals to reengage for a final playoff push to end the season.
1 day ago
Follow @AZSports...
Arizona Sports

Trivia Tuesday: Last 25 NFL QBs with 4+ picks in a win

Do you think you can name the last 25 NFL QBs to overcome four or more interceptions in a game his team won? It's Trivia Tuesday!
2 days ago
Chris Streveler #15 of the Arizona Cardinals jogs off the field during halftime against the Seattle...
Arizona Sports

Former Cardinals QB Chris Streveler joins Ravens practice squad

After being released by the Cardinals a week ago, former quarterback Chris Streveler joined the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.
2 days ago
Cardinals DL Rashard Lawrence goes through drills during practice Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Tempe. ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals designate DL Rashard Lawrence to return from IR

The Arizona Cardinals designated defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence to return from the injured reserve list on Monday.
2 days ago
Kyler Murray takes hit, 49ers run all over to tank Cardinals’ playoff hopes