The Cardinals will be without some key personnel against the Browns on Sunday.
Arizona announced Friday that head coach Kliff Kingsbury will miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19. Quarterbacks coach Cam Turner and defensive tackle Zach Allen will also miss the game.
The team said defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers will handle the head coaching duties.
The Cardinals placed linebacker Chandler Jones on the COVID list Tuesday.
Kingsbury is the first NFL head coach this season to miss a game because of COVID-19.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Friday that the league has no plans to change the game’s start time (4:05 p.m. ET Sunday) as the Cardinals move to enhanced mitigation protocols. According to the NFL/NFL Players Association’s joint COVID-19 protocols for 2021, enhanced protocols may include daily testing for players and staff regardless of vaccination status; mandatory masking indoors; grab-and-go meals; and other measures directed by the league’s chief medical officer.
The NFL isn’t considering any changes to the #Cardinals–#Browns game, despite Arizona’s series of positive COVID cases this week, I’m told. On as scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday. The Cardinals are going into enhanced mitigation protocols. They’re scheduled to travel Saturday.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 16, 2021
The Cardinals enter the road clash as the lone undefeated NFL team heading into Week 6. They have already collected road wins against the Titans and Rams, but the Browns, at 3-2 and tied for second in the AFC North, have emerged as strong contenders in the AFC.
Joseph has head coaching experience; he was at the helm of the Broncos for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He compiled a 11-21 record with Denver.
Turner is in his first season as quarterbacks coach in Arizona after serving as an offensive assistant in 2018 and assistant quarterbacks coach in 2019 and 2020.
If the early returns on Kyler Murray this year are any indication, then Turner has had a positive impact on the franchise QB. Murray ranks sixth in the NFL with 1,512 passing yards, is tied for ninth with 10 passing touchdowns and leads qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.2 percent completion percentage. Murray has also rushed 30 times for 110 yards (10th-most among quarterbacks) and scored three times on the ground.
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Allen started a career-high seven games in 13 appearances a season ago. He tallied 32 total tackles (17 solo) and two sacks. He has started four of the team’s five games this season and has made nine tackles — seven solo, two assisted — with a sack.