Cardinals’ Colt McCoy in concussion protocol, considered day to day

Dec 19, 2022, 3:18 PM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) walks off the field after an injury against the Denve...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) walks off the field after an injury against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals enter their Week 16 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers unsure of who will be lining up under center on Christmas Day.

Six days after starting quarterback Kyler Murray went down with an ACL tear and a reported torn meniscus three plays into the team’s Monday loss against the New England Patriots, Colt McCoy suffered a concussion three quarters into Arizona’s loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

McCoy was ruled out of the contest right away and now has to get through concussion protocol if he wants to have a shot at playing this Sunday. He threw for 78 yards and an interception on 13-of-21 passing before exiting.

“We’ll obviously be smart with it, but I’d say it’s day to day right now,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday.

“It’s tough any time you see (a player injured like that),” the head coach added. “I know what type of competitor he is and to see him go down like that is scary for all of us.”

Kingsbury said on Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke that McCoy lost consciousness before coming to and walking off the field under his own power.

If McCoy can’t go on Sunday, Trace McSorley will be in line to start, with recently signed David Blough serving as his backup.

It was tough sledding for McSorley on Sunday, who tossed two interceptions and completed 7 of 15 pass attempts for 95 yards.

A look at some of the other Cardinals entering the week of preparation banged up:

RT Kelvin Beachum

On the same play McCoy went down, so did Beachum, who briefly exited with a knee injury on Sunday.

Kingsbury considers the lineman day to day, though is pessimistic about his return for the team’s Week 16 tilt.

“He’s a tough guy, we needed him,” Kingsbury said. “He taped it up and continued to play. Obviously, they have a good pass rush, so he was much-needed out there. We’ll see. I don’t know if he’ll make it back for Sunday, but I know he’s going to try.”

Entering play Sunday, Beachum remained as the only Week 1 starter to play in all 14 games.

With swing tackle Josh Jones starting in place of injured left tackle D.J. Humphries, the Cardinals turned to Cody Ford, who typically plays guard, on the right side while Beachum was being tended to on the sideline.

CBs Byron Murphy, Antonio Hamilton and Marco Wilson

While the prognosis doesn’t look great for Beachum this week, things are looking up for at least two of the team’s three primary cornerback options in Hamilton and Wilson.

Both were inactive for the matchup in Denver with a back and neck injury, respectively, but appear to have a real chance at taking the field this week.

Murphy, however, may have to wait at least another week before his return.

“I think … day to day. Byron may be a little bit longer than that, but those other two have made progress and we’re hopeful they can be back,” Kingsbury said. “We need them, obviously.”

With the trio sidelined last week, the Cardinals turned to rookie Christian Matthew, Jace Whittaker and Nate Hairston against the Broncos.

DL Zach Allen

Allen is still on the mend from a hand injury suffered on Monday Night Football that ended up requiring surgery and is not expected to play this week.

Kingsbury is, however, holding out hope that the lineman — who is in a contract year — can return in some capacity before the season concludes.

“I don’t think it’ll be this week,” Kingsbury said. “Maybe the last couple he’ll have a shot but not this week.”

In place of Allen, Jonathan Ledbetter turned his best game as a Cardinal behind a sack, six tackles and a QB hit in just his third NFL start.

Ledbetter played a season-high 59% of the available defensive snaps (41).

“He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s gotten better and better,” Kingsbury said. “I think he’s one of those guys that every time we ask him to do something — even if it’s more snaps than he anticipated — he plays at a high level and competes. I’ve been impressed with his progress this season.”

OG Max Garcia

Along with Beachum, Garcia was also nicked up on Sunday and is day to day with a shoulder issue.

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