The Cardinals enter Week 13 with the best record in the league, looking to secure a 10-2 season start Sunday when they play the Bears at Soldier Field. A victory would mark the third time in franchise history the Cardinals produced at least 10 wins through 12 games.
Ahead of the conference matchup between the teams, here are five Cardinals to watch for in this week's spotlight.
Murray should return Sunday after missing the previous three games with an ankle injury. Murray was a favorite to capture the 2021 MVP before suffering the ankle injury Week 8 against Green Bay. His chances of winning the award have faded a bit, but Murray can regain momentum by ending the back half of 2021 on a solid note. The rebound campaign needs to begin Sunday in Chicago.
Milestone Watch: With 31 passing yards, Murray (24 years, 120 days old) would become the fourth-youngest player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career passing yards.
With three touchdown passes, Murray would become the ninth player in NFL history to throw 20+ TD passes in each of his first three NFL seasons.
With a passer rating of 120.0+, Murray would tie the franchise record (Kurt Warner had 5 in 2009) for the most such games in a single season.
Hopkins should return Sunday after missing the previous three games with a hamstring injury. The Cardinals have relied on its diverse group of wideouts while Hopkins used the month of November to recover. Now, he's close to returning, potentially facing the Bears for just the second time in his nine-year career. The Bears' pass defense ranks among the top 10 through 13 games, allowing 215.8 yards per game.
Milestone Watch: With a touchdown reception, Hopkins would have eight touchdown catches in his first nine games played this season.
Jones has recently caught fire in his success rate of getting to opposing quarterbacks. The linebacker has totaled three sacks (two Week 12 in Seattle and one Week 10 in San Francisco) in the past three games. Jones could have a field day on Sunday since Chicago has surrendered the most sacks in the NFL.
Milestone Watch: With 2.0 sacks, Jones would have 10.0 sacks in 2021. It would mark his seventh career campaign with 10.0+ sacks, and his fifth in six seasons with Arizona.
Hudson has been a revelation for the Cardinals' offensive line. There have been some low snaps, but coach Kliff Kingsbury attributed the matter to the veteran playing through nagging injuries. Fresh off the much-needed bye, it will be interesting to see if the issue continues and if Hudson looks healthier.
The Cardinals defense ranks fifth in total yards allowed and fourth in points allowed. Standout safety Budda Baker, who prides himself on eliminating the opposing team's deep ball, is a reason for that success. Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields' deep ball accuracy is one of his strengths, and it explains why Fields had the highest rate for throwing long earlier in the season. Fields is uncertain to start Sunday after suffering a rib injury Week 11 against Baltimore, but Baker will be challenged if he does play.
Against the Bears, the Cardinals in the spotlight include S Budda Baker, LB Chandler Jones, WR DeAndre Hopkins, QB Kyler Murray and C Rodney Hudson.