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Cardinals Not Looking to Stumble into Bye Week

by Mikael Harris

Publish date:

Nov 16, 2021

The Arizona Cardinals will get a bye week after Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk told reporters Tuesday it would be easy to look ahead to the bye week after Sunday. 

The team is marred with injuries, including to quarterback Kyler Murray and backup Colt McCoy, and the break could give it a chance to regroup.

Eleven straight games is a taxing ask, and the Cardinals’ bye week comes later than all but eight teams in the league.

But Kirk said that is not what Arizona intends to think about this week ahead of Sunday’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. 

“I think it’s really important that we really put an emphasis on, because of where we’re at and the success we’ve had, every game no matter who we’re playing,” Kirk said. “It becomes bigger than the next, especially for us going into this week, not playing the way we wanted to play last Sunday.”

The Cardinals are still in first place in the NFC West at 8-2 after last Sunday’s one-sided loss to the Carolina Panthers, 34-10. 

The Los Angeles Rams are 7-3 and have a bye this week, so a win for the Cardinals would provide a cushion going into their break. 

That won’t be easy for many reasons, none bigger than the injuries. Arizona will also be the road team against Seattle, which historically plays well at home in front of the “12th Man.”

But that’s not something that will keep the Cardinals unmotivated. 

“We’ve got to come out strong this week and just go into (the bye) strong,” safety Jalen Thompson said. 

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said every team deals with injury problems in a long season, and the bye week will be a needed reset.

But to get there, the Cardinals will have to get through a game that counts as much as all other 16 without potentially their top two quarterbacks. 

Murray is still dealing with an ankle sprain and Kingsbury said Monday the team will be smart with bringing him back. That could be after the bye week. 

McCoy is day-to-day after suffering a pectoral injury Sunday. 

That leaves Chris Streveler and potentially someone new at quarterback for this week. 

The Cardinals reportedly tried to sign Shane Buechele off the Chiefs’ practice squad, but they were unsuccessful because Kansas City added him to the active roster. 

“[Streveler] has just got to continue to work at practice,” Kingsbury said. “He gets minimal reps with our offense – usually scout team when you’re the backup. Whenever he gets his opportunity, just continue to do what we do and operate at a high level. I thought he made some nice plays.”

Streveler struggled in his only game with extended action last year, Week 17 against the Rams. 

Kirk said whoever is at quarterback does not change his objective and that of his position group. 

“If you’re supposed to be 12 yards, two yards inside the numbers and be looking for the quarterback, we need to do that.” Kirk said. “Has to happen every single rep especially in our walkthroughs which we do a ton and helps with our preparation.”

Similar to the previous two weeks, the Cardinals will have a lot of moving parts and uncertainty going into Sunday’s game. But after a letdown against Carolina that was fueled by a slow start, the team is eager to go into the bye week triumphant instead of stumbling. 

Source : Sports Illustrated

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