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Kyler Murray's Playing Status Will Be Game-Day Decision For Cardinals

Rams also will make QB Matthew Stafford a game-day choice

Quarterback Kyler Murray throws a pass during practice on Friday.
Quarterback Kyler Murray throws a pass during practice on Friday.

The Cardinals aren't sure if they will have Kyler Murray at quarterback on Sunday.

The Rams aren't sure if they will have Matthew Stafford at quarterback on Sunday.

The two NFC West teams go into the game with their signal-callers questionable as game-day decisions -- Murray because of his bad hamstring, Stafford because he is in concussion protocol.

If Murray can't play, Colt McCoy will start at QB.

"We want to see how he is moving around and make sure he is able to do what he can do if we are going to put him out there," coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

Murray was limited in practice again Friday, going through his drops, but Kingsbury said "I want to make sure he can take off and do what he does with his legs."

The comment resonates after this week's episode of "Hard Knocks," when Murray is seen saying that if his hamstring hadn't been tweaked, he likely would have outrun Seahawks defender Ryan Neal at the end of the first half. Neal got close enough to poke the ball loose for a lost fumble.

Seeing if Murray is mobile enough is the same approach the Cardinals took last season when Murray sprained an ankle. In that case, Murray missed three games. McCoy won two of those three starts, and that was with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins also sidelined.

Murray said earlier in the week, asked about potentially moving the pocket more, that he has felt pass rush pressure of late.

"I understand the pressure—it's tough. It's tough," Murray said. "We've got to block better, and our guys know that, but at the same time it is part of the game.."

That was before Murray's injury had become public knowledge. Even when healthy, Aaron Donald in particular and the Rams pass rush have been an issue for the Cardinals, and Murray's ability to scramble becomes more important.

"We don't want him to feel any sort of pressure to not run or not play his game to his extent," Kingsbury said. "We'll make sure he feels fully comfortable if we are going to put him out there on Sunday and we won't know until we run him around gameday."

If Stafford cannot play, the Rams will use backup John Wolford. Wolford was the quarterback who started in the season finale in Los Angeles in 2020 against Murray and the Cardinals when the Cardinals needed to win to get into the playoffs. The Cardinals lost the game, and Murray missed most of the snaps after hurting his ankle early in the contest.

"We'll be prepared for either guy," Kingsbury said.

BAKER PRACTICES

Safety Budda Baker, who was ruled out of the game on Wednesday because of an ankle sprain, managed to practice some on Friday and Kingsbury now says he will be a game-day decision.

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