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Cardinals’ Kyler Murray returns in 4th quarter after injury vs. Rams

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Cardinals signal-caller Kyler Murray left the field with a leg injury, Rams quarterback John Wolford tossed an interception on his first throw as an NFL quarterback, and Arizona backup quarterback Chris Streveler completed a pass to undrafted rookie running back Jonathan Ward for an 11-yard touchdown.

That madness, with a playoff berth on the line, gave the Cardinals a 7-0 lead five minutes into their 2020 regular season finale against Los Angeles.

Arizona trailed 12-7 at the half and 18-7 heading into the fourth quarter when — after standing on the sidelines for most of the first three quarters — Murray returned at the start of the fourth.

How did Arizona find itself in a hole?

An 84-yard pick-six thrown by Streveler with 20 seconds left in the first half gave Los Angeles its first touchdown — and lead — of the game.

The Cardinals were lucky that’s all they’d given up having piled up 67 total yards and 2.5 yards per play of offense. The struggles started when Murray exited and lasted until he returned.

He entered game week coming off a leg injury suffered last Sunday in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He confirmed Wednesday that he would play against the Rams.

He was injured on a sack by the Rams’ Morgan Fox, who appeared to land on the quarterback’s right ankle. The play on third down killed Arizona’s first drive of the game.

As Arizona’s starter went to the locker room, Streveler, who signed with Arizona and last played in the Canadian Football League, entered the game after Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks picked off Wolford’s pass.

Two completions by Streveler to receiver Trent Sherfield and Ward later, the Cardinals had a lead on Ward’s first NFL touch.

It wasn’t much positive for Arizona from that point on.

CBS’ Tracy Wolfson reported Murray went to receive x-rays, but he soon remerged to the field attempting to walk off his injury.

Murray was looked at in the injury tent before returning to the locker room at SoFi Stadium. He came back, had his ankle taped and did not re-enter in the first half.

Behind Wolford, the Rams drove into the red zone twice but came away with a field goal and a turnover at the goal line. Arizona linebacker Isaiah Simmons stripped running back Cam Akers, and Byron Murphy recovered for Arizona and returned it to the half-yard line.

On the ensuing possession for Arizona, the Cardinals’ Justin Pugh was called for a holding penalty in the end zone while blocking for Streveler, giving Los Angeles two points on a safety that made it 7-5 with 5:31 left in the first half.

Phillips Law Group

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