Cardinals could rest their star players against the Panthers

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray /

The Arizona Cardinals could most likely defeat the Carolina Panthers without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins in the lineup.

Up until last weekend, the prevailing thought around the NFL was that the Arizona Cardinals were built heavily around two players. This past Sunday, the rest of the team did everything they could to put that theory to rest.

The Cardinals showed the world last weekend that they are capable of winning without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins in the lineup. Even more impressive was the fact that they managed to do so against the San Francisco 49ers, a division rival that has a roster full of talented performers. It’s comforting to know that Arizona can play so well without their superstars, so perhaps they should think about keeping Murray and Hopkins on the sidelines for at least one more week.

It’s now the halfway point of the 2021 campaign, and Murray and Hopkins are currently nursing injuries that were severe enough to keep them out of the clash with the 49ers. The 5’10, 207 pound signal-caller was still noticeably limping from a sprained ankle he suffered during a week-eight loss to the Green Bay Packers. Hopkins has still not fully recovered from a hamstring strain that has lingered since late October.

Arizona Cardinals can likely win this week without their two best players

There’s a very good possibility that the Cards could win this coming Sunday without the services of Murray and Hopkins. This week’s opponent, the Carolina Panthers, should not present much of a challenge for head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s squad. The Panthers will bring a solid defense to State Farm Stadium, but the team’s scoring attack is nothing to be real concerned about.

Someone named P.J. Walker will be Carolina’s starting quarterback when they come to the desert to meet the Redbirds. The Panthers’ normal starter, Sam Darnold, is out with a shoulder injury. However, the Cardinals do have to pay attention to Christian McCaffrey, the talented running back who is also an excellent pass-receiver.

When asked about Murray’s availability last week, Arizona general manager Steve Keim talked about how the club should consider the “big picture” when it comes to injured individuals. With their record currently standing at a sparkling 8-1, the Cards need to start preparing for what should be their first postseason appearance in six years. Resting superstars like Murray and Hopkins now, to insure that they’re healthy for the playoff run, sure seems like a good plan to follow.

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