Christmas Cards: Kyler Murray and Co. ‘honored’ to play a holiday game

Dec 24, 2021, 6:05 PM | Updated: Dec 25, 2021, 5:13 pm

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals smiles before a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Fie...

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals smiles before a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

TEMPE — There aren’t many instances where NFL teams get to play on a holiday.

And when those moments do happen, the percentage of teams that take part in the festivities is low when compared to the rest of the league.

This season, the Arizona Cardinals are one of four teams to play on Christmas, and one of 10 teams to play on either Dec. 25 or Thanksgiving in 2021.

Playoff implications aside, this was already a big game in the eyes of many in the Cardinals locker room.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to play on Christmas,” safety Budda Baker said Thursday. “This is gonna be my first game playing on Christmas. I remember growing up as a kid and opening up your presents and then right when you turn the TV on watch football.

“That’s what these kids are gonna be doing, that’s what these fans and people are gonna be doing and hopefully show out, have some of the Red Sea here at State Farm Stadium on Saturday and it’s gonna be a good time.”

For quarterback Kyler Murray, the holiday brings back memories of watching NBA hoops and understanding the magnitude of getting to play on Christmas.

“I’m used to waking up and watch basketball, but this Christmas we’ll be playing football,” quarterback Kyler Murray said Wednesday. “Anytime I can play in front of people, you’re one of the only games on TV, it’s always going to be fun.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited. Like I said, watching basketball, I know how those guys feel. It’s an honor to play on Christmas, so the fact that we’re able to I’m looking forward to it.”

It’s also a first for running back James Conner, whose status remains up in the air for the matchup.

If in fact he can go, he’s definitely not taking the holiday game for granted.

“That’ll be special on Christmas, never done that before,” Conner said. “It’s things that you grow up wanting to do, playing on national TV and what bigger day than Christmas.”

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Christmas Cards: Kyler Murray and Co. ‘honored’ to play a holiday game