Who can and can't play Sunday against the Patriots are the big story around the Cardinals. The weeks started with questions about the health of quarterback Kyler Murray's shoulder and then got hit with the news wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Trent Sherfield had to go on the COVID list and will miss the game.
In terms of Murray, General Manager Steve Keim said on his appearance during the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station that the QB should be in the lineup against the Patriots.
"I know we have done a good job rehabbing this week and he has made some improvements," Keim said. "We'll find out soon enough if he'll be ready to go but our expectations are that Kyler will be ready to go and the rest of the team will step up around him with those receivers lost, guys like Andy Isabella, guys like KeeSean Johnson and Chase (Edmonds) has continued to do a nice job out of the backfield catching the ball."
As any further COVID issues, Keim said that the two players on the reserve list is it for now. "(Head athletic trainer) Tom Reed and our medical staff have done a great job staying on top of things," Keim said. "Hopefully that remains the same situation."
-- Even with all that, it's the banged-up defensive front that is tops in Keim's brain right now as the Cards try and figure out who they can make their first line of defense. Keim called veteran Domata Peko a "good addition," saying Peko has "leadership qualities and brings some credibility to the locker room."
-- The evolution of rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons timed out just about right in Keim's eyes.
"We've always had a philosophy that rookies come in and they are rookies until we get to about Thanksgiving," Keim said. "They learn how to be a pro, not only on the field but in the locker room and in preparation. I don't think it was any different for Isaiah."
-- As the Cardinals get set to embark on the stretch run of the season, Keim reiterated his concerns about the team's penchant for hurting themselves, with negative yards and too many penalties.
"Those are really things to me that are inexcusable," Keim said. "We have to stay disciplined and focused to eliminate those issues. ... It would be nice to start fast and put the pressure on the other team for once."