With the 2022-23 football season coming to a close, teams across the country are being reviewed for their great plays, insane amount of luck, and the unlucky consequences that come from the sport.
The Arizona Cardinals happen to be just one of those teams that seemed to hit a wall this season. Injuries, retirement, and loss of staff followed the Cardinals like a dark storm cloud.
The first injury for many hit wide receiver Antoine Wesley back in October. His quadricep injury put him out for the rest of the season. Only a week after that, Justin Pugh, the offensive guard, suffered a torn ACL. This unfortunately also led to the end of his season.
The Cardinals were able to go seven weeks without losing any players. This was until the Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz, “suffered tears to both his ACL and MCL, requiring surgery to repair both ligaments,” the NFL reported. 12 days later, cornerback Byron Murphy, landed a back injury during Week Nine.
During the Christmas day game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, long snapper Aaron Brewer, was out for the remainder of the season due to a pectoral injury. Two days later, Trysten Hill and Budda Baker were put on the Injured Reserve list from the same game as Brewer. Hill was initially put on day-to-day for his knee sprain while Baker was put out of commission for his fractured shoulder.
Another wide receiver, Rondale Moore, went down for a groin injury in early January while D.J. Humphries endured a painful back injury. Knee injuries seemed to keep adding up with Marquis Hayes, Rodney Hudson, Josh Jones, Kyler Murray, Jonathan Ledbetter, and DeAndre Hopkins. Of those, both Jones and Hopkins are currently considered questionable for the start of training camp.
Due to quarterback Kyler Murray being out for the rest of the season, and backup QB, Colt McCoy suffering a season-ending concussion, new recruit, David Blough stepped up to the plate. That only lasted for so long before he took a hit to the head and is now added to the questionable for training camp list.
Within the past three months, the Cardinals lost 27 players due to injuries. Now, they will be losing two more very influential people on the team: JJ Watt and Kliff Kingsbury.
Watt has chosen to retire at the age of 33 so he can spend more time with his wife and newborn son. His final moments on the field were bittersweet when it was recorded for the current season of the HBO Max show, “Hard Knocks.” With a standing ovation from the spectators, staff, and players, Watt became emotional, but seemed excited to start his future endeavors.
Head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, won’t be making an appearance as the Cardinal’s head coach next year due to the organization wanting to change things up in hopes for a more successful season coming up. Kingsbury coached the team for four seasons and only acquired 28 wins to his resume. After a 4-13 season, Kingsbury walked away with a smile on his face and best wishes to the remaining staff.
We can only hope that next season will bring better luck to the South-Western team and that their next head coach can help encourage their players to earn more wins.