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Kyler Murray Or Colt McCoy As Cardinals QB1 In Mexico?

Both signal-callers trying to come back from injuries

Quarterbacks Colt McCoy (12) and Kyler Murray at a recent Cardinals practice.
Quarterbacks Colt McCoy (12) and Kyler Murray at a recent Cardinals practice.

Kliff Kingsbury wasn't going to name on Wednesday who his starting quarterback for "Monday Night Football" will be, partly because both his quarterbacks are hurting and partly because he was just burned in such a scenario.

"I was really bad at predicting Budda (Baker) last week, so I don't want to get into predicting," the Cardinals coach said, referencing his statement that the safety was going to miss the Rams game – until he didn't.

The situation with the quarterbacks is slightly different, and in trying to decipher Kingsbury's statements, it feels like the choice will again hinge on if Kyler Murray's hamstring is 100 percent. Colt McCoy is dealing with a knee injury, but the coach said McCoy "feels good," while he noted that the Cardinals want to see where Murray is later in the week health-wise.

"I'm hoping at least one of them," Kingsbury said. "I think we should be able to get to that point."

Murray took his turn with his normal Wednesday press conference, and said he felt better. But he too declined to get into the prediction business.

While Murray's hamstring became national news after hurting it late in the first half against the Seahawks was shown on "Hard Knocks," Murray said he had tweaked it originally against the Vikings the previous week. Making sure he gets fully healed now becomes paramount.

"I've got to be able to do what I do," Murray said. "I've played through those things obviously but there is a fine line between making it worse and having it worse. We're on the right track."

Kingsbury said even if Murray came to him saying he wanted to play, as head coach "I have to be smart where we are at and making sure he can play."

McCoy is 3-1 as a starter in place of Murray the last two seasons, with a victory against each of the other three NFC West teams, all on the road. It was the 49ers he beat first last season, and now the 49ers loom Monday. While it's a "home" game for the Cardinals, it'll take place in Mexico City.

Murray said McCoy "did a great job" against the Rams, although he is anxious to play again.

"You never want to miss time, you never want to miss reps," Murray said. "Practice reps, game reps. All those matter. I'm a rep guy. For me, being out with the guys, that's why we do it. But it was great to win."

McCoy said postgame he wanted to see Murray healthy. Whether he has to play or just help guide the young starter, the 36-year-old McCoy continues to provide exactly what is needed as a backup quarterback.

"Since he's been here, you have seen Kyler's level of play elevated, and it has a lot to do with Colt and how he views the game and how he processes the game and how he talks the game with Kyler," Kingsbury said. "You can't put a price tag on what he's meant for him and this entire organization."

Murray's praise too went beyond what McCoy was able to do on the field in Los Angeles.

"(Colt) has been around so much football, been around so many great coaches, dealt with a lot of players, schemes, and he's just a really intelligent football player, and a great friend," Murray said. "Kind of has that father figure vibe to him. All the guys look to him, trust him. To have him in my corner, there is nothing more I could ask from him."

Quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Kyler Murray warm up before the game in Seattle this season.
Quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Kyler Murray warm up before the game in Seattle this season.

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