Cardinals’ Kingsbury explains change to sit Kyler Murray in preseason opener

Aug 13, 2021, 11:32 PM | Updated: Aug 14, 2021, 12:11 am
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks with quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the sec...

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks with quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

(AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said in the leadup to the team’s first preseason game that quarterback Kyler Murray would play against the Dallas Cowboys on Friday.

That made it a surprise when Murray was in street clothes 30 minutes before kickoff and proceeded to not play.

“Really want to get some of the new pieces working with some of the veteran guys that have been in this offense,” Kingsbury said Monday. “Have a new center, have some new wideouts, have some new DBs, young linebackers, new D-linemen. Really to get those guys meshed and just get a feel for each other’s speed of the game and kinda go from there.”

What changed then?

“We just, as the week ended, we just felt like it was a good week of practice and decided to sit him out this one,” Kingsbury said Friday.

Backup quarterback Colt McCoy said he found out “about a day or so ago” that he would be starting.

Murray joined Arizona veterans Chandler Jones, Corey Peters, DeAndre Hopkins and others to not play in the first week of preseason.

Kingsbury said “we’ll see” when it comes to Murray playing the following Friday in the Cardinals’ next preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Cardinals’ decision to sit those names is not one that stands out when compared to the rest of the league. A number of NFL teams sat the majority of their starters in the opening week, including their quarterback. There were 13 teams heading into the beginning of preseason that declared its starting quarterback would not be playing until Week 1.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said there was “zero chance” that his starter Matthew Staford would ever take a preseason snap for Los Angeles.

He is not going to play. That’s why it’s important for us to try to get competitive ‘opps’ against some of these other teams in practice settings. Practicing against the Cowboys this Saturday. Get the Raiders twice. So we’re always looking for those things. Until you tell me that if a guy gets hurt in the preseason that we’ll get those games back or they’ll add them on the schedule afterwards as, ‘Oh yeah, you get two games because you lost those guys in the preseason,’ it’s hard for me to make sense of it.

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