49ers Head Coach Reveals Strategy to Deal with Cardinals’ Kyler Murray

Published 12/26/2020, 4:42 AM EST


The San Francisco 49ers are getting ready to play Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals in their final stretch of fixtures in the season. Last year’s Super Bowl finalists have had a torrid season this year, going 5-9 and are 4th in the NFC West.

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And now, they will no longer be in the Playoffs, just a year after their incredible playoff run to the Super Bowl.

Nov 29, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) reacts against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

In preparation for the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers need to be worried about star player Kyler Murray. Murray has been having a good season this year, even earning early MVP consideration.

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But despite his drop off, Murray is a genuine threat. And that is how the San Francisco 49ers are treating him ahead of their game.

San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the press ahead of their game against the Arizona Cardinals. He revealed that 49ers players Jimmy Garoppolo and Josh Rosen were playing the role of Kyler Murray during the practice sessions. However, the two players have not been given all the duties to emulate.

49ers preparing for Kyler Murray

He said, “He’s looked good, Jimmy always does when he throws. But we’re trying to be smart with him. We didn’t give him too many of Kyler’s reps, where he had to run around and do stuff like that. But it’s how guys look a lot with high ankle sprains.

“They come back and they look fine. You wouldn’t know what’s wrong. And then they have to do a reaction and you see that something’s there. That’s why we’ve had to be smart with Jimmy.”

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Clearly, despite the low stakes of the game, the 49ers are taking the threat of Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals very, very seriously.

The two teams faced off earlier on the opening day of the season. The Cardinals walked away with a narrow win at 24-20.

While the game for the 49ers has very few consequences for their season, they still want to end the latter half of the season on a high. Plus, with the return of George Kittle, they will want to integrate him into the team at the earliest.

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It remains to be seen if the practice sessions end up working for the 49ers in their game against the Cardinals.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1184 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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