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Cardinals QB Colt McCoy embracing God's plan and mentorship role, but proves he can still play

Colt McCoy made it clear to Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury when he signed with the team this offseason he was doing so because he believed he still had something to offer. He got a chance to prove it on Sunday.

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Filling in for the injured Kyler Murray, McCoy connected on 22 of his 26 pass attempts for 249 yards without turning the ball over in a 31-17 road victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

“If I didn’t think I could still play, I wouldn’t be playing,” McCoy said after the game. “But I also understand my role, and there’s not a bigger fan of Kyler Murray than me right now. He does some unbelievable things. I’ve learned a lot from him in my short time here. He’s very special.”

With star receivers DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green also unavailable, McCoy leaned heavily on Christian Kirk and running back James Conner. They caught 11 passes for 168 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown for Conner.

During his press conference on Monday, Kingsbury praised McCoy for the leadership he’s provided.

“Nobody got to really see what he can do on the field except the players and coaches that watch him every day at practice or training camp,” Kingsbury said. “That was great to see his hard work and preparation pay off.”

After making two starts for the New York Giants last season, McCoy said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in May that he had multiple suitors when he entered free agency. He chose the Cardinals knowing his primary responsibility would be helping mentor Murray.

Now in his 11th season in the NFL, McCoy is accustomed to the unique challenges of being a backup quarterback.

“I think it requires just as much work or more because at any moment, you could go in and play in that game and the whole team is going to expect you to play at a high level and win the game,” he said on the podcast. “That’s certainly what we expect of ourselves, but that’s what the team has us there for. And for a lot of other reasons, right? Being good in the locker room, helping the starter.”

McCoy rose to national prominence as a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist at the University of Texas and led the Longhorns to the national championship game in his senior season. Forced to exit the game early on with an injury, he used the moment of immense disappointment to glorify God.

“I always give God the glory,” he said in a postgame interview. “I never question why things happen the way they do. God is in control of my life and I know, if nothing else, I’m standing on the Rock.”

Now 35, McCoy said on the podcast he was grateful to have a foundation of faith to stand on during one of the lowest points of his football career.

“I knew what my foundation and purpose was, although the result wasn’t what I ever would have wanted,” he said. “I knew [I could stand on] my faith and Jesus and what’s He’s done for me on the cross. My identity is that I am a football player, I get to do that, but if that’s taken away, then that’s God’s plan and God’s purpose.”

The 8-1 Cardinals may call on McCoy again if Murray is unable to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Kingsbury said in his press conference the team will have a better feel for Murray’s status on Wednesday.

Whether McCoy plays or not, he is counting every moment as a blessing.

“I love [playing in the NFL],” he said on the podcast. “I love everything about it. But at the end of the day, I also know that I’m privileged to do it and this is what God’s allowing me to do. He can take that away at any moment and if He does, I’m going to go that way, and I’m cool with that.”

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