In a worst-case scenario for both the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams, a regular season finale to determine their playoff fates could come down to former CFL quarterback Chris Streveler and AAF product John Wolford.
Neither Streveler of the Cardinals or Wolford of the Rams have attempted an NFL pass.
Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury on Monday did not rule out the possibility that starting quarterback Kyler Murray could miss the Week 17 road game this Sunday, which the Cardinals must win to ensure themselves a playoff berth.
Kingsbury did not specify Murray’s leg injury suffered in the final seconds of Saturday’s 20-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He did say it was a lower leg issue.
“We’ll see how he feels this week. Hopeful that he can be in position to play and do what he does,” Kingsbury said.
Kingsbury told reporters on a Monday call that Streveler is “definitely the backup” and ahead of Brett Hundley in the pecking order.
But minutes later on Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta, the Cardinals head coach said a determination of who would start in Murray’s place would be made later and is an organizational call.
Streveler has been Murray’s backup all year long ahead of Hundley, who has 18 games of NFL experience.
Streveler joined the Cardinals from the Canadian Football League this offseason. He has two snaps on offense as a quarterback of a short-yardage gadget package.
Kingsbury suggested that Arizona will play Murray even if he’s not 100% able to be himself as a rushing threat. Still, the quarterback must be able to protect himself.
“With Kyler, if that’s how he’s got to play, if he’s got to adjust his style, he can definitely play from the pocket and try to lead us in that way,” Kingsbury said. “We’re not going to put him out there if he can’t play at a high level and doesn’t feel safe to play.”
Murray went 31-of-50 for 247 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in the 20-12 loss to the 49ers on Saturday. He rushed eight times for 75 yards.
The quarterback injured himself on the last offensive play for the Cardinals.
Like Arizona, Los Angeles could miss the postseason if it loses and enters the game with a banged up quarterback. Jared Goff dislocated and reportedly broke his thumb Sunday in a 20-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Goff played through the injury, completing 5-of-14 passes for 74 yards after hitting his hand on an opponent’s helmet and popping his thumb back into place.
Goff’s backup is Wolford, who in 2019 played professionally for the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football.
“He played at a high level there,” Kingsbury said of how the Cardinals would prepare for Wolford, who went to college at Wake Forest. “His college stuff — he’s a guy who can move around, make plays with his feet.”
Wolford has not made an appearance for the Rams.
“I’m sure if he is the guy, Sean (McVay) had him well-coached and he’ll be operating at a high level and we’ll have to be ready for anything,” Kingsbury said.
Kingsbury said that running back Chase Edmonds, tight end Maxx Williams and safety Jalen Thompson are day-to-day for the season finale. All are dealing with ankle injuries.