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The Quarterbacks In Question, And Ravens Aftermath

The mystery of this week – whether Kyler Murray will be activated – was dialed down significantly after Sunday's loss to the Ravens when Jonathan Gannon said Joshua Dobbs will start in Cleveland and he didn't know if Murray would be back the week after against the Falcons.

The story will continue to be the story, but how it plays out is hard to know. Gannon of course could change his mind this week. Whatever happens, no, I don't think this means Kyler would be dealt, as many on my social media feed are suggesting. This always felt like Murray was going to get his full three-week window before being activated, and that would take you to Nov. 8 and after the Browns game.

I've also wondered all along if there was a possibility he could sit another another game or two after that as well.

It was good that the offense rallied Sunday, but Gannon acknowledged the Ravens started playing differently with a big lead. The Cardinals continue to struggle with finding a consistent passing game.

At this point, it's understandable why everyone is waiting to see if Kyler can provide that.

-- One of the big storylines of the first half was the fourth-down try by the Cardinals that initially was marked as running back Emari Demercado making the first down, but – as it looked like the officials were going to measure to make sure – one official very deliberately moved the ball back a half-yard, so much so it was clear the Cardinals did not convert.

"That was confusing," Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs said.

In the end, Gannon said only that it was replay assist as his explanation, and then referee Walt Anderson gave a detailed account after the game to PFWA pool reporter Bob McManaman.

"With the replay assist rule, what that allows us to do is provide officials with objective information if we end up with clear and obvious video evidence," Anderson said. "We waited a bit because we weren't exactly sure where the officials were going to initially spot the ball after all the players cleared and we could see it was actually spotted on the big line. Then the replay official told the officials that the ball was clearly short and that's why the umpire ended up moving the ball. And obviously with it being short on a fourth down with the new rule this year, a failed fourth-down attempt is a booth review. But since we had already assisted, we knew it was short that's why we didn't stop it further to review it again."

-- Rookie cornerback Kei'Trel Clark was inactive. "He'll be back in the mix," Gannon said after the game, noting that the Cardinals have a lot of defensive backs they want to use at the moment. The top five remain safeties Jalen Thompson and Budda Baker (who played together for the first time Sunday since Week 1) as well as cornerbacks Marco Wilson, Antonio Hamilton, Starling Thomas and Garrett Williams.

Clark figures to potentially battle for time with Thomas or Hamilton as the season moves on. It was interesting to note Wilson was rotated out for some plays for the first time this season.

-- The defense had a nice game. Turnovers by their offense hurt. But the Cards gave up only 268 total yards, their best game since Week 1, and a season-low 138 net passing yards. 

-- The onside kick the Cardinals converted late in the game was a bit painful since the team could've been within eight points had they converted their two-point try after the final touchdown. Dobbs did at first, only to have it called back on a Paris Johnson hold.

-- Speaking of the onside kick, it was a great bouncer by Matt Prater and more importantly, it was the first successful onside kick in the entire NFL this season. In Week 8.

-- Demercado is the guy until James Conner comes back. For a while there it looked like he'd have his first 100-yard game. Demercado ended up with 78 yards on 20 carries.

-- Feels like Trey McBride is going to be TE1 even after Zach Ertz comes back from his injury.

-- McBride was five yards short of 100 for the game. The Cardinals haven't had a 100-yard game from a tight end since Rob Awalt had 105 on Nov. 12, 1989 against the Cowboys. So yeah, it's been a minute.

-- The Cardinals were 0-for-2 on fourth downs and are now 2-for-12 on fourth downs the last four games, starting with the home loss to the Bengals.

-- Will be interesting to see a couple of the injuries that came out of the game. New starting left guard Trystan Colon, who is in the lineup with Elijah Wilkinson on IR, went out early in the game with a right knee injury and didn't return. Running back Damien Williams hurt his foot and didn't return. Wide receiver Michael Wilson got dinged on the successful onside kick at the end of the game and went to the locker room.

-- Long snapper Aaron Brewer had himself a day. He and wife Nikki had a baby boy born at 7:35 a.m. Sunday – Cameron Blair Brewer, 7 pounds, 9 ounces – and then Brewer made it to the stadium to play in the game. It's a big deal, because while the Cardinals have an emergency long snapper, it's never good to be missing the main guy. Congrats to the Brewers, who also have a 2-year-old son named Miles.

That's good for tonight.