Cardinals confident in Colt McCoy vs. 49ers if Kyler Murray can’t play

Nov 4, 2021, 8:30 PM

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) throws against the Dallas Cowboys during the first ha...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) throws against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Midway through Week 9’s prep for the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Kyler Murray has yet to practice.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday he doesn’t necessarily need to see the signal caller on the practice field to give him the green light, meaning we may not get an answer as to who the starter will be until gameday.

Whether it is Murray or backup Colt McCoy, Arizona feels good.

“Obviously, Kyler’s a phenomenal football player. He’s gonna be missed out there, our anticipation is that he’s gonna do everything he can to play,” tight end Zach Ertz said Thursday. “We got a lot of confidence in Colt. The NFL, injuries happen, guys are gonna miss a game here and there. The next guy’s gotta stand up.

“Colt’s been working his butt off this week on the practice field in case he does have to go and does have to be the quarterback. We got a lot of confidence in Colt, just based on him being in the league this long. You see it out there each and every day why he’s a really good quarterback.”

The Cardinals seem to be in a much better position than they were a season prior when it comes to their backup options.

Needing a win to get into the playoffs, the Cardinals were forced to turn to quarterback Chris Streveler in the season finale against the Los Angeles Rams with an already hobbled Murray suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter. Murray returned in the fourth quarter, but only saw two series, leaving the majority of snaps to his backup.

The offense wasn’t quite the same, however, with Streveler finishing with 105 yards and a touchdown on 69% passing. His lone interception of the outing proved to be one of the deciding factors in the 18-7 loss, with the Rams returning the pick 87 yards for a touchdown.

And after watching a 6-3 start tumble to an 8-8 finish, the loss was felt that much more in Arizona, making an upgrade at the backup QB spot one of the team’s priorities this offseason.

McCoy hasn’t seen any meaningful snaps nor has he made a start in his Cardinals career, but that doesn’t mean his impact hasn’t been felt by players on both sides of the football.

“I played with Colt in New York. I know how he go every day, man,” linebacker Markus Golden said Thursday. “This guy’s more focused than anybody I’ve ever seen, every day. You would think he was starting. I was able to play with him in New York and playing with him in Arizona this season it’s been the same thing.

“Even if he have to play, you know he gonna be prepared. He’s a professional, he’s gonna come to work every day and he gonna do everything on Sunday if he have to play. He gonna do everything he can to win us that game.”

The Cardinals would obviously like to have their starter at the helm in Week 9, but with nine games left on the schedule, Arizona must tread lightly as to not over exert Murray. Re-injuring himself after rushing back is the last thing the Cardinals want for their franchise quarterback.

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