Cardinals need collaborative effort to run offense without Kingsbury

Oct 16, 2021, 11:15 AM
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals watches from the sidelines during the second ha...
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals watches from the sidelines during the second half of the NFL game against the Washington Football Team at State Farm Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury will not be at Sunday’s game following a positive COVID-19 test, so how the team operates against the Cleveland Browns will take a collaborative effort.

Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will team up with special teams and assistant head coach Jeff Rodgers to split head coaching duties, the Cardinals announced Friday.

But what is especially tricky about Kingsbury being out is that Arizona does not have an offensive coordinator. He has full control of the offense, plus quarterbacks coach Cam Turner also tested positive and won’t travel this weekend.

NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported that Kingsbury will script as much of the offense as he can before the game starts, but that does not account for in-game adjustments.

Garafolo said on Good Morning Football Saturday morning that Kingsbury had not decided who will radio in the calls to quarterback Kyler Murray as of Friday night.

Offensive line coach and run game coordinator Sean Kugler could coordinate with quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Murray to run the show.

Murray likes to call checks at the line of scrimmage, but this will be another challenge.

This is not the first time a team has lost its head coach before a game.

Last season, the Browns had to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs without head coach Kevin Stefanski due to COVID-19.

The difference then was they still had offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt to call the plays, and Cleveland won 48-37.

Some good news for the Cardinals is that there have been no new positive cases after Kingsbury, Turner, defensive tackle Zach Allen and reportedly general manager Steve Keim tested positive on Friday, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

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Cardinals need collaborative effort to run offense without Kingsbury