Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray downplayed a leg injury all week before the regular-season finale, but left Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams after just one series.
The team said Murray was dealing with an ankle injury and that his return was questionable. The CBS television broadcast later showed Murray walking off the field gingerly and heading into the locker room for evaluation.
Murray appeared to injure his ankle on an 8-yard sack on a third down that sent the punt team out to the field.
Local media covering the game reported that Murray started to come back onto the field before he returned to the locker room.
Backup passer Chris Streveler entered the game for Arizona and quickly found running back Jonathan Ward for an 11-yard touchdown that opened the scoring in the game.
Since then, it has been rough going for Streveler, who completed just five of nine passing attempts for 24 yards with the one score and an interception in the first half. The pick came late in the second quarter and was an ill-advised toss that fell easily into the hands of Rams cornerback Troy Hill, who returned it 84 yards for a touchdown.
The pick-six gave the Rams a 12-7 lead headed into halftime.
Murray’s injury means two backups are playing in this game, which has massive playoff implications in the NFC. If the Cardinals win, they will clinch a spot. The Rams can get in with a victory, or with a loss and a victory by the Green Bay Packers over the Chicago Bears, a game that was being played at the same time.
Los Angeles starting quarterback Jared Goff was inactive, as he is recovering from a thumb injury suffered in last week’s loss against the Seahawks. Rams quarterback John Wolford made his NFL regular-season debut for the Rams.