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Kyler Murray A Game-Day Decision, So Brett Hundley Ready At QB

Notes: Tight ends banged up; Murray and Justin Pugh win PFWA awards

Quarterback Brett Hundley scrambles upfield during the Cardinals' win in Seattle last weekend.
Quarterback Brett Hundley scrambles upfield during the Cardinals' win in Seattle last weekend.

Brett Hundley , backup quarterback, might not be the backup Sunday in Los Angeles.

But he – like everyone else – must wait for the official determination about Kyler Murray's status-via-hamstring-health. That wasn't available Friday, when coach Kliff Kingsbury as expected said again Murray would be a game-day decision.

But it sounds like Hundley has a good chance to start, after Kingsbury said Hundley has gotten more of the work in practice this week and the Cardinals will be promoting QB Drew Anderson from the practice squad "so we have every scenario covered."

"I want (Kyler) to be able to play his game, to make plays with his feet," Kingsbury said. "Feeling confident is a big part of that."

Kingsbury added, "I don't have a feel for it yet."

Hundley said everyone would have to "stay tuned," but he was excited that he's received some practice reps with the starting offense for the first time since the summer. Hundley's work with the starters against the Seahawks after Murray got hurt was the first reps he had gotten with the first team, game or practice, since before training camp.

"If you do go in you have some reps with your guys instead of going in and never," Hundley said with a laugh. "Last week (in Seattle), that was the first time I've thrown to Larry (Fitzgerald) and those guys. And to be in that situation, I like this situation better."

Murray acknowledged this week he'd like another chance to play against the Rams, after the first meeting did not go well. But he also echoed Kingsbury's desire that he be able to perform like he normally can, and if not, Hundley could do the job.

"He's a smart guy and he's obviously got a lot of ability," Murray said. "I'm very confident in Brett. I know the guys are. You saw the second half (in Seattle.)"

Hundley has started nine games in his career, all coming in 2017 with the Packers after an injury to starter Aaron Rodgers. That season, he completed 60.8 percent of his passes, with nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Hundley said his work in the passing game against the Seahawks – he completed 4-of-9 passes for 49 yards, with a sack – was impacted by the lack of practice work and the timing that just hadn't had a chance to develop. But his confidence isn't wavering.

"If my number is called, ain't nothing different than last week," Hundley said. "Go in, make some plays, have some fun."

It is an interesting end of the season for Hundley, the Chandler High School product from a few miles away that signed a one-year deal in March. In some ways, this works as a live trial for Hundley's drive to return in 2020 as Murray's backup.

Hundley talked about the mutual respect and good relationship he has with Murray. He also said he loves being in Arizona.

"It's home for me," Hundley said. "(Assistant coaches) Tom (Clements), (David) Raih, I was with them in Green Bay, this offense is perfect for me, everything about this organization I like, from the top down. I want to do the most I can with the opportunities I have."

TIGHT END DEPTH IN QUESTION WITH DANIELS DOWN

The Cardinals for the first time last week made active all four tight ends on the roster, but that number could be halved in Los Angeles. Darrell Daniels (biceps) is out, while Charles Clay (calf), like Murray, is a game-day decision. Maxx Williams and Dan Arnold are the healthy tight ends.

"It'll be a little lighter it appears," Kingsbury said. "If we've got to adjust we will adjust but I really like how that position is coming on."

For the Rams, cornerback Jalen Ramsey (knee) is out, which will help the Cardinals' passing game. Running back Darrell Henderson Jr. (ankle) is also out, while cornerback Troy Hill (thumb) is doubtful.

CARDINALS AWARE SUNDAY COULD BE (STOP) PASS OR FAIL

The overall game against the Rams the first time was … ugly. The hardest part was the defense against the pass, after Jared Goff piled up more than 400 yards throwing with more than eight minutes left in the third quarter before the Rams let up on the gas.

"It's just as bad the second time around watching it (on video) as the first time around," linebacker Jordan Hicks said. "We've definitely been watching it, we've definitely been learning from it. We didn't play to our standards. We've improved since then, and the motivation is right there. It sucks to watch that game."

Wide receiver Robert Woods had 13 catches for 172 yards. Tight end Tyler Higbee had 7 for 107 -- all in the first half.

"We left a bad taste in our mouth," cornerback Patrick Peterson said. "It came down to us as men, wanting to defend passes, play with a sense of urgency, and that all comes down to the men in the uniforms. Hopefully we can come out with a better attitude … and a better outcome."

MURRAY, PUGH HONORED BY ARIZONA CHAPTER OF PFWA

The local chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association named Murray the Lloyd Herberg MVP for the Cardinals in 2019, and named guard Justin Pugh the Steve Schoenfeld "Good Guy" for being generous of his time with the media and thoughtful in his answers.

The MVP award was named after the former Cardinals beat writer for the Arizona Republic who fought a long battle with cancer before passing away in 1994. The "Good Guy" award was named after another former Republic writer who covered both the team and the NFL before being killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2000.

Images from practice at the Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center

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