GM Steve Keim has all the faith in Arizona Cardinals erasing recent skid

Dec 30, 2021, 7:12 PM
General manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the San Fran...
General manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals aren’t living up to their double-digit win total as the regular season comes to the close.

They’ve clinched a playoff berth, but did so after a pair of losses from other teams cashed their ticket.

And with two weeks left before the postseason kicks off, Arizona must find its groove and fast.

“I think any time that you don’t play your best ball at the end of the season, it’s a concern,” Keim told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Thursday. “And last year, we were extremely disappointed with the way we finished. I think this year is a different team. We have a lot of faith and confidence in those guys in that locker room. And I think we’re going to get it turned around.

“They have the opportunity to play in postseason this year and to clinch a playoff berth is extremely huge for us. And I think that’ll be the confidence that permeates through the locker room is to have a playoff football team and to be able to go out, and again … it’s just comes down to execution.”

On top of the losses on the their record, the Cardinals have also been hit with season-ending injuries to key contributors.

Defensive lineman J.J. Watt was lost for the season after suffering a shoulder injury and later undergoing surgery following the team’s Week 7 blowout of the Houston Texans.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was the latest important piece to go down, opting for surgery on a reported “badly torn” MCL sustained in Arizona’s Monday Night Football loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14.

And that’s not to mention the recent two-game absences of starting center Rodney Hudson (COVID-19). Running back James Conner (heel) and wide receiver Rondale Moore (ankle) have also missed a game.

Though Hudson has since been activated off the COVID-19 list, his status remains up in the air as he gets up to game speed ahead of Sunday. Both Moore and Conner are likely game-time decisions, according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

But this isn’t Keim’s first season as a GM. He knows there’s football still to be played and that numerous teams around the league are dealing with the same issues Arizona is going through right now.

“It’s difficult. Hop was a huge loss for us,” Keim said. “But at the same time … you can’t make any excuses. … The needs in November and December are obviously different than they are in the spring, with injuries and the issues that you incur during the season.

“So we just have to put our best foot forward and have that next man-up mentality and we did that this season, different games like Cleveland and in San Francisco where guys stepped up and played extremely well as substitutes. We just have to get back to playing good football again.”

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GM Steve Keim has all the faith in Arizona Cardinals erasing recent skid