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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs as Houston Texans outside linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (51) makes the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 31-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) scores a touchdown as Houston Texans outside linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (51) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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Arizona Cardinals linebacker Markus Golden (44) celebrates his sack against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

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Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 24-10. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona's Kyler Murray has become one of the NFL's most exciting quarterbacks, scurrying around in the pocket to avoid would-be tacklers and often finishing with spectacular throws downfield.

Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like a description of Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.

It's no surprise then that Murray - who is 14 years younger than Rodgers - has modeled portions of his game after Rodgers. Now the two early season MVP candidates will meet on the field for the first time in their NFL careers when the Cardinals host the Packers on Thursday night.

''He's probably my favorite quarterback to watch - his swag, the way he plays the game, what he's done in his career,'' Murray said. ''I admire his game a lot. First time playing against him, first time being able to meet him.

''It's pretty cool, I'm looking forward to it.''

The Cardinals are 7-0 for the first time since 1974 and trying to set a franchise record for wins to start a season. Green Bay (6-1) stumbled in the season opener, but since then has won six straight games. Rodgers is rolling during that six-game stretch, throwing 15 touchdowns and just one interception.

Rodgers had plenty of complimentary words for Murray as well. He also acknowledged that even though it's just Week 8, there are playoff-type vibes in the air.

''We're aware of that,'' Rodgers said. ''A lot of times when you're not playing a division opponent it comes down to the tiebreakers like this. There's still a lot of football and a lot that can happen throughout the season with momentum and the way teams play, but this is an important one.''


Green Bay will likely be playing this game without receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, who went on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week. Adams is tied for second in the NFL in catches (52) and is third in yards receiving (744).

The virus also has impacted Green Bay's coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry tested positive this week and won't be available Thursday.

Arizona can relate. The Cardinals are just getting over a virus outbreak on their roster. Coach Kliff Kingsbury, quarterbacks coach Cam Turner, edge rusher Chandler Jones and defensive linemen Zach Allen and Corey Peters have all missed time over the past two weeks. Everyone but Peters has returned.

The Cardinals navigated those COVID-19 challenges and still beat Cleveland and Houston. Arizona expects Green Bay will have similar resiliency.

''At the NFL level, you can't count out teams when someone's not on the field,'' Cardinals rookie linebacker Zaven Collins said. ''(Adams and Lazard) are great players, but usually there's not a very big drop-off when a backup is in. That's something you have to take into account. It might not change that drastically.''

The Cardinals are also missing some star power. Defensive end J.J. Watt (shoulder) was ruled out on Wednesday after not practicing all week. It'll be the first game he's missed this season.


Kingsbury is known for his air raid-style passing game, but the Cardinals' run game is also among the league's elite this year, ranking fifth in the NFL.

Most of the work has been done by the stellar duo of Chase Edmonds and James Conner, whose contrasting styles have been a good fit together. Edmonds is a little more of a speedster and a threat to catch passes out of the backfield. Conner's bulldog style has become the team's go-to option in short yardage and goal-line situations.

Edmonds is averaging nearly 6 yards per carry and has also caught 27 passes. Conner has 89 carries for 336 yards and six touchdowns.


Thursday's game features plenty of notable guys who played for the Houston Texans recently.

Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins arrived in Arizona last season after a trade with Houston. Outside linebacker J.J. Watt joined the Cardinals via free agency after spending his entire career in Houston.

Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb spent one season with the Texans last year before the Packers reacquired him at the start of training camp. Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus joined the Packers last week after the Texans released him.

Houston has gutted its roster over the past few years as it tries to rebuild. The Texans have a 1-6 record and lost 31-5 to the Cardinals last week.


Tight end Zach Ertz had a stellar debut for the Cardinals last week, catching three passes for 66 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Texans.

Arizona acquired Ertz from the Eagles in a trade after Maxx Williams was lost for the season because of a knee injury. The 30-year-old Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and makes the Cardinals' offense more diverse.

In his first game with the Cardinals, Ertz hauled in a one-handed grab over the middle and also scored on a 47-yard touchdown, which was the longest of his career.

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The Paur Report

Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 14

Player Notes
Aaron Rodgers Dec 8 9:40am ET
Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (toe) made an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday and said his injured toe is "improving." "There was no mindset change. The biggest key is rest. I wish there were another one of these (bye) weeks so I could get 14-21 great days without doing anything, but the toe is improving." Rodgers opted to rest his injured toe instead of undergoing surgery during the bye week. The 38-year-old will be less than 100 percent but is expected to suit up in Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears. The future Hall of Famer threw three touchdowns the last time he faced Chicago in Week 6. Rodgers historically has shredded the Bears and is a must-start this week in Week 14.

From RotoBaller

Jamal Adams Dec 8 9:33am ET
Jamal Adams

Seattle Seahawks S Jamal Adams (shoulder) is out for the season as he requires surgery to repair a torn labrum and other damage in his shoulder.

From TheHuddle

Dalvin Cook Dec 8 9:33am ET
Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) is unlikely to play Thursday, Dec. 9, even though he has returned to practice in a limited fashion.

Fantasy Spin: Alexander Mattison had a 22-90-1 line on the ground and caught three balls for 34 yards last week. This is a make-or-break game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they're likely without Cook and Adam Thielen. Mattison could approach RB1 waters this week.

From TheHuddle

Corey Davis Dec 8 9:20am ET
Corey Davis

New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis (groin) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. The 26-year-old's move to the injured reserve was procedural as he was ruled out for the season earlier this week. Davis will undergo season-ending core muscle surgery and look to make a full recovery for 2022. Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole Sr., and Denzel Mims will be Jets QB Zach Wilson's top wideouts while Davis is sidelined. Davis finishes the 2021 campaign with 34 receptions (59 targets) for 492 yards and four touchdowns over nine games in 2021.

From RotoBaller

Blake Jarwin Dec 8 9:10am ET
Blake Jarwin

The Dallas Cowboys activated tight end Blake Jarwin from the reserve/COVID-19 list and moved him back to injured reserve on Tuesday. Jarwin was placed on an injured reserve after suffering a severe hip injury in Week 8. He was moved from the injured reserve to the reserve/COVID-19 list on November 26th and reverted to IR on Tuesday. Since suffering the injury, the 27-year-old has yet to practice, and it's unclear when the Cowboys' tight end will return to action. Jarwin has caught 10 passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns over seven games. Dalton Schultz is the Cowboys' top-pass catching tight end and will remain in that role while Jarwin is sidelined.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Neal Dec 8 8:40am ET
Ryan Neal

Seattle Seahawks star safety Jamal Adams (shoulder) will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum. He sustained the shoulder injury in the Week 13 win over the San Francisco 49ers. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, it was the same shoulder he injured last year, and surgery was necessary. Adams' absence from the Seahawks' defense is a big blow to a Seattle defense that was already giving up 396.2 total yards per game, the second-worst league. The 26-year-old will make a full recovery by the 2022 season. Adams racked up 87 tackles and two interceptions over 12 games in 2021. Ryan Neal and Nigel Warrior are expected to see an uptick in snaps while Adams is sidelined.

From RotoBaller

Cordarrelle Patterson Dec 7 10:33pm ET
Cordarrelle Patterson

Atlanta Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson has six receptions over the last three games combined after logging at least five catches in six of his first eight games.

Fantasy Spin: Patterson has been utilized more frequently as a runner in recent weeks, but his floor will become a little more volatile if he is going to be phased out of the passing game. Consider Patterson a RB2.

From TheHuddle

Breshad Perriman Dec 7 9:23pm ET
Breshad Perriman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Breshad Perriman served as the No. 3 receiver against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13, playing 83.3 percent of the offensive snaps.

Fantasy Spin: Perriman finished with just one catch for five yards, but based on his playing time, it looks like he will help stretch defenses while Antonio Brown is sidelined. Perriman could be worth a flier in DFS formats thanks to his big-play speed.

From TheHuddle

Sony Michel Dec 7 8:20pm ET
Sony Michel

When asked if he sees running back Sony Michel taking on a lead-back role, regardless of Darrell Henderson's (thigh) health, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay was non-committal. "I think it's really good to get Sony going. I think he's a rhythm runner, but I think we definitely would want to find ways to still have Darrell as a big part of it," McVay said. Michel got his second start of the season as Henderson looked on from the sideline in the Week 13 drubbing of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he produced a season-high 121 rushing yards and his second rushing touchdown of the season on 24 carries. Perhaps Michel earned some more work once Henderson is ready to return, but it seems unlikely that the Rams would just give up Henderson's lead-back role that easily after Henderson has been solid in 10 games -- career-high 4.6 yards per carry, 648 rushing yards and eight total TDs). Michel will most likely only retain standalone RB2 value if Henderson misses more time.

From RotoBaller

Cooper Kupp Dec 7 8:13pm ET
Cooper Kupp

Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp reached 100 receptions for the season in Week 13, becoming the fourth player in NFL history to record 100 catches in their team's first 12 games.

Fantasy Spin: Kupp and Matthew Stafford have formed an immediate connection, and Kupp currently leads the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He has also been remarkably consistent, logging at least seven catches and 95 receiving yards in all but one game.

From TheHuddle

T.J. Watt Dec 7 8:13pm ET
T.J. Watt

Pittsburgh Steelers LB T.J. Watt is up to 16 sacks this season, and he and Reggie White are the only players in the NFL history to record at least 13 sacks in four straight seasons.

From TheHuddle

Tony Pollard Dec 7 8:10pm ET
Tony Pollard

The Dallas Cowboys activated offensive tackle Terence Steele from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. Steele will be available in Week 14 against the Washington Football Team, but it's uncertain how the playing time will shake out at right tackle between Steele and La'el Collins. Steele was starting at right tackle and doing well, but Collins is back from his suspension and has started three of the last four games for Dallas. Whoever isn't playing right tackle could play in place of a tight end to give the team better blocking on running plays. The return of Steele only bolsters the Cowboys offensive line, which is good news for the running game and RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.

From RotoBaller

Keenan Allen Dec 7 8:10pm ET
Keenan Allen

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is vaccinated, so he still has a chance to play in Week 14 against the New York Giants, according to a source. Allen landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, and he'll need to be asymptomatic and return two negative tests 24 hours apart in order to be cleared to play this Sunday. Fantasy managers could still have him available as a strong WR2 option in Week 14, but making backup plans would be wise. Allen is the WR18 in fantasy and is coming off a two-touchdown game. He ranks third in WR targets with 124 and is a must-start if he gains clearance. If he does not, Mike Williams and Jalen Guyton would see a boost in targets, while rookie Joshua Palmer would also see the field more. Guyton is worth a waiver pickup if you have Allen rostered or need help at receiver this week.

From RotoBaller

Najee Harris Dec 7 7:40pm ET
Najee Harris

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring) said he is playing on Thursday night in Week 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers after tweaking his hamstring in Week 12 and sitting out the Week 13 loss to the Detroit Lions. Injuries have been a huge problem for Barr, who has played in just eight of 23 games the last two years. The 29-year-old was a full practice participant on Tuesday, so barring a setback, he should be active to kick off Week 14 action. Barr has 32 tackles (16 solo), two QB hits, one interception, one fumble recovery and half a sack in six games played this year, and his return will be good news for a Vikings defense looking to keep rookie running back Najee Harris in check.

From RotoBaller

Hayden Hurst Dec 7 7:30pm ET
Hayden Hurst

The Atlanta Falcons designated tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle) to return from Injured Reserve on Tuesday, opening up the team's 21-day window to activate him. Hurst has a good chance of rejoining the active roster for the Week 14 game against the Carolina Panthers after they released tight end Parker Hesse on Monday. Whenever he returns, Hurst should go back to backing up rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, giving him very limited fantasy appeal as a low-end TE2. The 28-year-old has 20 receptions for 158 yards and one touchdowns on 25 targets in nine games played before landing on IR. Hurst should go on being ignored on the waiver wire in most fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

Ben Roethlisberger Dec 7 7:20pm ET
Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (pectoral, shoulder) got in a full practice on Tuesday after being listed as a DNP on Monday's estimated practice report. Roethlisberger has been following this scheduled for most of the season, but the only game he's missed in 2021 was after he tested positive for COVID-19. Big Ben will start under center in Week 14 on Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings and will be a midrange QB2 for the matchup. The 39-year-old signal-caller is likely in his final NFL season, and although his arm hasn't been fully healthy, he's still able to make most of the necessary throws to his receivers. Roethlisberger has looked better in recent weeks, although he doesn't have a ton of upside at this point in his career -- one 300-yard game (back in Week 3) and 16 TDs in 11 games.

From RotoBaller

Kevin White Dec 7 7:20pm ET
Kevin White

The New Orleans Saints waived wide receiver Kenny Stills and defensive tackle Malcolm Roach on Tuesday. In a corresponding move, they re-signed wide receiver Kevin White to their practice squad. Stills played just 16% of the offensive snaps in last Thursday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys and wasn't able to haul in any of his five targets. The 29-year-old managed only five catches on 22 targets for 64 yards and one touchdown as a depth option for an already thin Saints receiving corps in 10 games played. With Deonte Harris suspended for the next three games, Marquez Callaway, Tre'Quan Smith and Lil'Jordan Humphrey should work in three-receivers sets, with Ty Montgomery and White serving as additional receiving depth.

From RotoBaller

Dalvin Cook Dec 7 7:10pm ET
Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder) was listed as a DNP on Monday's estimated practice report, but he was able to put in a limited practice on Tuesday. While Cook may ultimately miss his second straight game this Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers after dislocating his left shoulder and tearing his labrum in Week 12, it's progress nonetheless. We'll know more on the 26-year-old's status on Wednesday, but even if Cook is surprisingly active in Week 14, there'd be a good chance that Alexander Mattison takes most of the backfield touches against Pittsburgh. The likely outcome is that Cook won't return until Week 15, and it's fair to be worried about his production once he does return. Mattison will be a must-start if Cook is inactive.

From RotoBaller

Sean Davis Dec 7 5:53pm ET
Sean Davis

New England Patriots S Sean Davis and DT Daniel Ekuale reverted to the practice squad Tuesday, Dec. 7.

From TheHuddle

Blake Jarwin Dec 7 5:33pm ET
Blake Jarwin

Dallas Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin (hip) reverted to the Reserve/Injured list after he was restored from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Dec. 7. WR T.J. Vasher (knee) reverted to the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list after he was restored from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

From TheHuddle