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Another Week Another Quarterback, And Friday Before The Falcons

Kliff Kingsbury had just gotten through telling the world – through a handful of us media-types – that Colt McCoy wasn't going to be able to play Sunday because of his concussion, a surprise after McCoy seemed ready to go earlier in the week.

He was asked if he was at the point if he wondered just what else could possibly go wrong. Kingsbury chuckled.

"I was there about eight weeks ago," Kingsbury said with a wistful smile. "We're past that point."

Kingsbury went on to say with J.J. Watt announcing his retirement, the Cardinals want to play well and let Watt go out a winner. The coach wants to sound hopeful. But it really is amazing that it has become one thing after another.

The Cardinals are about to start their fourth quarterback of the season. It's not something I haven't witnessed before – in 2012, when the quartet of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer took turns helming Ken Whisenhunt's final season – but it's the first time I've ever seen a team start four different quarterbacks in four straight games, coming immediately after the Week 13 Bye:

  • Kyler Murray vs. Patriots Week 14
  • Colt McCoy at Broncos Week 15
  • Trace McSorley vs. Buccaneers Week 16
  • David Blough at Falcons Week 17

There are only two games left. I can't imagine any more serious curveballs -- but then again, I'd be foolish to rule it out, after everything that has happened this year.

-- I don't know if DeAndre Hopkins is going to play (this is why your fantasy football league should always end no later than Week 16) with his knee acting up, but if he does, Blough has to find a way to get him the ball. McSorley made the effort to do so, but the passes never gave Hop a chance. If Hop is close, he will bring it in.

-- Myjai Sanders will get to see his best friend, quarterback Desmond Ridder, when the Cardinals face the Falcons Sunday. The two rookies played together at the University of Cincinnati, but the linebacker said he won't be too emotional about an NFL reunion.

"I don't really ride too high or too low," Sanders said. "I'm just excited to see him, for real."

Ridder gave Sanders a call earlier this week, but the two rarely talk football, Sanders said. On the field, nothing changes for Sanders – Ridder plays the one position Sanders is always watching.

"I want to get a sack every game., but most definitely against him," Sanders said. "That would be something to remember for sure."

-- J.J. Watt has to get the half-sack he needed to reach double digits in his final season. That's how the story has to end.

-- Watt told a great story during his retirement press conference about rookie linebacker Jesse Luketa calling him while under the influence of a dentist's anesthesia. The story was funny, the actual voicemail was hilarious, and the ending – Luketa getting the signed jersey he wanted from Watt on Friday – sublime.

-- The Cardinals will be wearing white jerseys, white pants in Atlanta. For those who care about such things.

-- James Conner missed a couple of days of practice with an illness, but he is back. And while he was never going to match last year's 18-touchdown season, he is a scoring machine again, getting in the end zone in six straight games. He'll be trying to tie his franchise-best streak of seven this weekend (matched by John David Crow in a stretch at the end of 1959 and beginning of 1960.)

-- The last word this week comes from Kingsbury, asked if the Cardinals would look more at young players the last two games:

"With all the injuries, some of those evaluations have happened organically," he said. "I don't even know who else we could evaluate at this point."

See you next year. Which will be Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) during the 2022 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022 in Glendale, AZ.