GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray sat out most of the first three quarters with an ankle injury and when he finally returned, wasn't able to rally the Cardinals into the playoffs.
Murray was hurt on the first possession Sunday and didn't return until early in the fourth quarter, when the Cardinals trailed the Los Angeles Rams 18-7.
That's how the game ended after Murray's first drive ended in a blocked field goal and he wasn't able to get the Cards any closer.
Arizona missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. The Rams clinched a wild-card spot.
“Not being able to play in a majority of this game stinks,” Murray said. “I know we are a playoff team, but we hurt ourselves and we held ourselves back.”
Murray injured his right ankle when he was sacked on the Cardinals’ first drive. He went to the locker room and returned to the sideline.
Murray had 14 yards of offense (7 rushing, 7 passing) on the first drive before the Cardinals were forced to punt near midfield. Arizona quickly got it back when Jordan Hicks intercepted John Wolford’s pass at the Rams 20 and returned it 6 yards.
Chris Streveler replaced Murray and led the Cardinals to a touchdown on his first drive. Streveler, who had never thrown a pass in an NFL game, was 2 for 2 for 14 yards giving the Cardinals a 7-0 lead.
Troy Hill intercepted Streveler just before halftime and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown and a 12-7 lead.
“We just became best friends this year,” Hill said of the end zone.
Streveler was going against another NFL rookie, Rams' quarterback John Wolford.
Wolford was forced to take his first NFL snaps in this crucial game after Goff injured his thumb last week. The Wake Forest product showed why McVay is high on him — after a big early bump, that is.
His first pass went straight to linebacker Jordan Hicks deep in Rams territory. Wolford shook off the Cards' subsequent TD and led the Rams on three lengthy drives in the first half with his arm and his feet.
Wolford racked up 47 yards rushing in the first half — more than Goff managed in any game of his five-year career.
Murray returned for the fourth quarter and immediately drove the Cardinals deep into Rams territory, but Jalen Ramsey made a remarkable deflection on third down before Robinson blocked a field-goal attempt with 9:01 to play.
Wolford made several big plays down the stretch, including a scramble for a first down on third-and-8 with 2:40 to play, all but sealing the victory.