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Cardinals Continue To Find Ways To Win Despite Players Lost

Kingsbury knows his team has to win 'battle of attrition'

Quarterback Kyler Murray, sitting out Sunday's game against the 49ers, congratulates guard Max Garcia -- before Garcia re-injured himself -- during the Cardinals' 31-17 win in San Francisco.
Quarterback Kyler Murray, sitting out Sunday's game against the 49ers, congratulates guard Max Garcia -- before Garcia re-injured himself -- during the Cardinals' 31-17 win in San Francisco.

Kliff Kingsbury was missing Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins before the Cardinals even went to San Francisco.

During the game against the 49ers, he lost, among others Chase Edmonds and Justin Pugh, players who still might be missing for the time being -- and still found a way to win.

The injuries are going to happen. What Kingsbury and Cardinals do when it does is what will make their season -- not lamenting what could be.

"We don't even allow ourselves to talk that way as coaches," Kingsbury said. "You look around the league, and everyone is dealing with it. It's a battle of attrition once you hit the second part of the season. And what you got is what you got. You just have to find a way,."

Even with injuries on both sides of the ball Sunday, the Cardinals played like they were healthy. Colt McCoy did an excellent job filling in for Murray at quarterback, and James Conner ignited the offense with his best performance of the season. The 31-17 victory marked the Cardinals' fifth game with at least 400 yards and 30 points this season, which leads the NFL.

Defensive coordinator coach Vance Joseph's troops were just as impressive. The 49ers rushing attack – which entered the matchup ranked 10th in the NFL – finished with a meaningless 39 yards on 11 carries. The defense also had five sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

The Cardinals' resilient ability awarded them the top seed in the NFC with an 8-1 record, which also is the best record in the NFL.

"Everyone on this team feels like they can get on the field and do something for this team," tackle D.J. Humphries said. "It's easy to say it, but when guys get those opportunities and step up, it's been huge for us."

The victory and accolades came with a price. Edmonds suffered an ankle injury could miss several games according to reports, although Kingsbury would only say he wouldn't play Sunday against Carolina. Pugh, who sustained a calf injury on Sunday, is listed as day-to-day.

Long snapper Aaron Brewer, who left with an unknown injury, will miss "as couple weeks," Kingsbury said. The coach also confirmed that Max Garcia did not return in the second half on Sunday because the center re-aggravated his previously injured Achilles.

Kingsbury also gave an update on the Cardinals' receivers, who missed Sunday's game. Hopkins is day-to-day with his bad hamstring, and A.J. Green remains in Covid protocols, needing two negative tests 24 hours apart to return.

As far as his quarterback is concerned, Kingsbury is unsure regarding Murray's status for this Sunday against Carolina.

"I don't have a feel for it yet," Kingsbury said. "We like the way he progressed through the week and improved, but we'll have to see how he looks – when we get back out there on Wednesday, and hopefully, he can operate and function."

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