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Cardinals Trying To Steady Quarterback Depth Chart

McSorley likely to start with McCoy in concussion protocol

Quarterback Colt McCoy scrambles during the Cardinals' 24-15 loss in Denver on Sunday.
Quarterback Colt McCoy scrambles during the Cardinals' 24-15 loss in Denver on Sunday.

First, Kyler Murray went down. Then Colt McCoy.

The quarterback depth chart is getting thinner.

A day after McCoy entered the concussion protocol after getting hurt during the Cardinals' 24-15 loss to the Broncos in Denver, coach Kliff Kingsbury said the team would "err on the side of caution" whether they would use McCoy going forward. It likely means third-stringer Trace McSorley as the starter Christmas night on national TV against the Buccaneers, with David Blough -- just signed last week -- as his backup.

Preparing them each for playing time no one expected seven days ago is the goal now.

"The biggest thing is for them not having those reps during the week," Kingsbury said. "You want to give them stuff they feel comfortable with; we have two different scripts we go into: one is with their plays and one with the starters' plays that they highlight throughout the week.

"We try to tailor it to what they like and feel comfortable with when they go in. It's never easy for guys in that spot to hit it on the run and try to execute, but it's part of the job."

Kingsbury acknowledged during a radio appearance on the "Wolf and Luke" show on Arizona Sports that McCoy briefly blacked out following the injury, which came when McCoy was trying to run for a first down on third-and-1, eschewing a handoff to running back James Conner to try and earn the yard himself.

McSorley completed 47 percent of his passes for 95 yards and two interceptions on Sunday. But if McSorley starts on Christmas, Kingsbury believes he will play better and can if he avoids negative plays.

"The few times he's got in, it's been without any reps (in practice)," Kingsbury said. "If he can get some reps throughout the week if he ends up starting, I think it will help.

"He just has to stay away from the turnovers and first- and second-down sacks. If we can stay on the schedule against this Tampa Bay front, that will help our chances."

The Cardinals have had injuries at several other positions, including wide receiver and offensive line, all season. That's how they entered Sunday as the team with the second-most players used, behind just the Tennessee Titans.

Having a revolving door at quarterback does not help.

"It's difficult, I guess, but that's the game," running back James Conner said. "There have been moving pieces everywhere on our team. QB, receivers, even running back for a time, when I was hurt. You can say it's difficult but that's the easy way out. That's the game of football. You have to step up."


Kingsbury said offensive linemen Kelvin Beachum (knee/ankle) and Max Garcia (shoulder) are day-to-day. Defensive lineman Zach Allen won't return this week after undergoing hand surgery.

Cornerbacks Marco Wilson (neck), Antonio Hamilton (back), and Byron Murphy Jr. (back) are also day-to-day.

"Byron may be a little bit longer than that, but those other two have made progress," Kingsbury said. "We're hoping they can be back; we need them."

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