Kyler Murray: Playing with hamstring injury was “a teaching lesson for me”

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Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray‘s status for Sunday’s game against the Rams was in doubt due to a hamstring injury, but he made the start despite being at less than 100 percent in Week 17.

Murray left the game briefly after taking a hit to the elbow, but otherwise adapted to life with the injury by curtailing the running aspect of his game. Murray stayed in the pocket more than usual while going 26-of-42 for 325 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

He was also credited with two lost fumbles, but the turnovers didn’t stop head coach Kliff Kingsbury from calling it “the best game he played all season under the circumstance and particularly how they dominated us the last time.” Murray said that it was educational to play without being able to do all the things he usually does on the field.

“For me, honestly, I think it helped me out, just standing there, going through reads, going through progressions,” Murray said, via ESPN.com. “I think it’s a teaching lesson, a learning lesson for me. I’m kind of glad. Everything happens for a reason. I thought we played well today, despite two turnovers that kind of cost us.”

Murray finished his rookie season with 3,722 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 544 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns for the 5-10-1 Cardinals. That’s not a bad place to be as you start building toward a second season that Arizona hopes will be more fruitful for all involved.