Cardinals GM Keim gives updates on Ward, praises team’s resilience

Oct 29, 2021, 3:50 PM | Updated: 3:52 pm
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward (29) collides with Green Bay Packers running back Kyli...

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward (29) collides with Green Bay Packers running back Kylin Hill during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. Both players left the game after the hit. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward went to the hospital Thursday night after a violent collision with Green Bay Packers kick returner Kylin Hill in the third quarter.

He suffered a concussion without neck or cervical damage, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo Friday.

The two collided as Ward went in to tackle Hill on a kick return. Both players were down on the field after the play.

Hill reportedly suffered a torn ACL.

Ward was stretchered off the field and gave a thumbs up en route to the locker room.

“He went to the hospital last night just as a precautionary,” Keim said. “Javier Cardenas, our concussion specialist, (athletic trainer) Tom Reed and those guys acted quickly.

“By all indications it sounds like he had a concussion and because of the fast work by our medical team, he’s in a good place right now.”

Keim said Ward was released from the hospital.

Resilience despite loss

Keim did not think the Cardinals played well for most of the Thursday’s 24-21 defeat.

He pointed to losses in the turnover battle and time of possession. Plus, he said the Cardinals made too many “critical mistakes.”

But, despite these struggles and various injuries throughout the game, Arizona had the ball on the Packers five-yard line with a chance to win in the closing seconds.

“The fact that we did not play well, I didn’t think we played smart football and we made a ton of critical mistakes, to be in position to win that game in the end says a lot about our ability to handle adversity,” Keim said.

The Cardinals’ defense made a vital goal-line stop after the Packers had the ball on Arizona’s one-yard line in the fourth quarter. That set up the offense with 3:23 left to march down the field trailing 24-21.

Keim said he had full confidence his team would win at that point.

“When you have Kyler Murray as your quarterback and you have the playmakers we have on the perimeter, I thought there was no doubt with the time left on the clock and putting it back in (Murray’s) hands that we were going to win that football game.”

The Cardinals moved 95 yards down the field before a crushing interception ended the comeback bid.

Murray threw the ball to wide receiver A.J. Green’s back shoulder, but the veteran target was not looking. The miscommunication ended the game as cornerback Rasul Douglas caught the ball.

Keim mentioned that Green and Murray are professionals who are hard on themselves and will learn from this.

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