After missing the last two weeks, are Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins playing today? With both having spent the week on the Cardinals’ injury report, will either Murray or Hopkins suit up in Week 11, or will the Cardinals be without one or both of them for a third straight week?
Update 11/21/21: The Arizona Cardinals have officially announced that Kyler Murray will be inactive for their game against the Seahawks. Colt McCoy will be the starter.
Is Kyler Murray playing in Week 11 against the Seattle Seahawks?
Once again, Murray will head into Week 11 as a game-time decision. The Cardinals QB has been limited at practice all week but appeared to be trending in the right direction to play. Murray had only managed to participate in practice once in the previous two weeks but was present all three days in Week 11.
A report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler indicated the Cardinals were optimistic Saturday evening that Murray would be active. However, late Saturday night, Adam Schefter tweeted that “signs heading into Sunday’s game in Seattle point to Colt McCoy starting his third straight game for Arizona in place of the injured Kyler Murray, per sources.”
Colt McCoy will start in Murray’s absence but has also been limited this week in practice
After being hailed as a hero in Week 9, McCoy was injured during the Cardinals’ embarrassing loss at the hands of the Carolina Panthers in Week 10. McCoy was then limited with a pectoral injury on Wednesday and Thursday this week. However, he returned as a full participant on Friday and carried no injury designation into the weekend.
If Murray is not active, McCoy would once again draw the start, with Chris Streveler as the backup. Streveler came in for the Cardinals in place of McCoy in Week 10 and completed 6 of 9 passes for 36 yards. He also appeared in relief of Murray during the 2020 season.
Is DeAndre Hopkins playing in Week 11 against Seattle?
While the status of Murray is unknown heading into Sunday, we do know that the Cardinals will be without Hopkins. As he continues to struggle with a hamstring injury, Hopkins will miss his third straight game. Of somewhat more concern than just his absence is that Hopkins has now been unable to practice for four straight weeks.
The hope is that Hopkins will be able to rest through the Cardinals Week 12 bye before returning for their final six games. The last time we saw Hopkins was on Thursday Night Football in Week 8. Hopkins played limited snaps in that game, making just 2 catches for 66 yards. He appeared to aggravate his hamstring injury during the game.
The Cardinals have depth at WR in Hopkins’ absence
While the Cardinals will be desperate to get Hopkins back, they do have depth at the position. They added A.J. Green in the offseason, who has 460 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns on 30 receptions from 48 targets. He missed Week 9 after testing positive for COVID and struggled with just 1 reception in his return in Week 10. Nevertheless, he’s been a favorite target of Murray since arriving.
Christian Kirk has emerged as a star this season. He has caught an impressive 83.9% of his 56 targets (47 receptions). He’s done that while averaging 12.8 yards per reception and scoring 4 touchdowns. Targeting Kirk has been extremely boom or bust in 2021. The QB passer rating when targeting him is 120.5, but passes thrown in his direction have also been picked off twice.
Rondale Moore has also been a solid target, catching 81.8% of his 44 targets. He has been the Cardinals more underneath option, averaging 10.1 yards per target. The rookie has not seen a boost in targets in Hopkins’ absence and continues to be a somewhat underwhelming fantasy option.
Away from the receiver position, the Cardinals have Zach Ertz. However, they are without Chase Edmonds, who is on the IR with an ankle injury. Ertz has been a solid option since arriving via trade. However, the loss of Edmonds has removed a major part of the passing offense. This leaves Murray, McCoy, or Streveler having to rely on James Conner more as a passing back.