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Cardinals Reach Bye Tops In NFL, Chance To Get Healthy

QB Kyler Murray, WR DeAndre Hopkins should return for next game

Inactive quarterback Kyler Murray smiles as he looks at the scoreboard at the end of the Cardinals' 23-13 win in Seattle Sunday.
Inactive quarterback Kyler Murray smiles as he looks at the scoreboard at the end of the Cardinals' 23-13 win in Seattle Sunday.

The Cardinals may be 9-2, may have the best record in the NFL, but they need the bye.

Right?

"I don't know," linebacker Jordan Hicks said, contemplating the idea. "That's a subjective question. I don't necessarily think so."

There is something to be said about plowing ahead. The Cardinals, after fending off the Seahawks in Seattle, 23-13, where the want to be. They have guys that are injured and need time to heal, but then again, the Cardinals also just won two of three in a month without their quarterback and best wide receiver.

But yeah, they need the bye.

They still don't have Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins back. That should happen in the next game, Dec. 5 in Chicago (gotta wonder what the weather will be like for that one) but coach Kliff Kingsbury wasn't being definitive Monday – his last time talking to the media until next week.

"That's what we're hoping," Kingsbury said of his top offensive duo. "With those two you're hoping for them to come back and play at a really high level. The bye comes at a great time for both. They should get a lot of time for rehab and feel good coming back. We need them to be who they are and play like they play immediately."

It's not just about healing the obvious cases, like running back Chase Edmonds or guard Justin Pugh. Center Rodney Hudson hasn't missed time since missing games with a ribs injury, but he needs a break.

Hudson's shotgun snaps the past two games haven't always been on point – a couple were on the ground Sunday -- and Kingsbury acknowledged Hudson's health is playing a role.

"The bye is coming at a really good time for Rodney because he's been playing through a bunch of different injuries, basically, that he is toughing out," Kingsbury said. "I think he'll get rested up and healed and you'll see (the snaps) cleaned up pretty quickly."

The Cardinals, even with their gaudy record, have started seven different offensive lines in their past nine games. They've survived the loss of their top defensive lineman and still have myriad starters out on offense.

Kingsbury said the Cardinals did a lot of research this season how to handle the bye, studying other teams that have had success in their first game after. In his two previous seasons as coach, Kingsbury's Cardinals lost after the bye at home to the Rams, 34-7, and last year lost to the Dolphins at home, 34-31.

"They will definitely have time to get the time they need for Thanksgiving, get some downtime, rest and recoup," Kingsbury said, "but we will try to keep them locked in the beginning of the week with football."

The bye should help. But the way the Cardinals are playing, they probably could've made it work otherwise.

"The way we're playing, the way this locker room feels right now?" Hicks said. "Obviously, it would be nice to healthy and get guys back, but you know, you roll the ball out there, we're ready to go. That's the mentality of the team. It doesn't matter who we're playing, it doesn't matter when we're playing, it's about us.

"It's always about us."

ROSTER MOVES

According to the NFL's transactions list the Cardinals cut running back Tavien Feaster and long snapper Beau Brinkley on Monday. ESPN also reported the Cards will be signing quarterback Trace McSorley from the Ravens' practice squad, ostensibly to supplant Chris Streveler as the No. 3 QB. No roster moves were officially announced as of yet.

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