The Cardinals are looking to bounce back from their first loss of the 2021 NFL season. They will have to do it without their two best offensive players.
Both quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be out of action for the Cardinals on Sunday. They are dealing with injury problems and each will miss their first games of the season.
With those two out of action, the Cardinals will have to rely more on quarterback Colt McCoy and wide receivers Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore to carry the load.
But why aren’t Murray and Hopkins active? Here’s a refresher on what’s keeping the Cardinals stars out of action.
Why Kyler Murray isn’t playing the 49ers
Murray is dealing with an ankle injury that will keep him out for the Cardinals’ Week 9 game against the 49ers. The third-year quarterback was unable to practice all week after sustaining the injury at the end of Arizona’s Week 8 loss to the Packers.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said the Cardinals would watch “the panorama” in determining whether Murray would start or sit against the 49ers. On Sunday morning, it was reported that there was pessimism about Murray’s state and ended up inactive during the game.
With Murray out of action, Colt McCoy will start as Arizona’s quarterback. McCoy was a third-round pick for the Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft and is 8-22 in 30 career starts. He has started five games in the past three years for Washington and the Giants and has posted a 1-4 record. Overall, McCoy has completed 60.7 percent of his career passes for 30 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.
Chris Streveler wants to be McCoy’s endorsement. Streveler completed 11 of 16 passes for the Cardinals last season and amassed 105 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. The former Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL star also rushed for 15 yards on four carries.
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Why DeAndre Hopkins doesn’t play the 49ers
Hopkins was limited in the Cardinals’ Week 8 loss to the Packers and did not play the majority of the second half. He was dealing with a hamstring injury. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said that Hopkins ran to the field on his own a few times to help the Arizona offense.
Kingsbury does not allow that risk this week. Hopkins will be inactive for the third time in his NFL career. He missed practice for the entire week as a result of the hamstring injury and it seemed unlikely that he would adjust. The Cardinals found it questionable, but there was little optimism that I could play.
Hopkins isn’t the only Cardinals receiver out Sunday. AJ Green is on the COVID list, so the Cardinals will be behind their quarterback and their top two receivers. Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore will be the top two receivers in Week 9 as a result, while tight end Zach Ertz should be more involved in Arizona’s game plan.
Andy Isabella and Antoine Wesley will see additional action as well, as Kingsbury and the Cardinals love passing four-width sets.
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