TEMPE, Ariz. — In a late-week twist, Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough will start on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons in place of Colt McCoy, coach Kliff Kingsbury said Friday.
The decision to sit McCoy was done out of an “abundance of caution” after McCoy experienced additional concussion symptoms following Thursday’s practice.
Blough and the Las Vegas Raiders‘ Jarrett Stidham will become the 63rd and 64th quarterbacks to have started an NFL game this season, tying a non-strike record set in 2007. The only other NFL season with more starting quarterbacks was the 1987 strike year, when there were 87 different starters.
Only 11 of the NFL’s 32 teams have had one starting quarterback this season. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Cardinals on Sunday will tie the Los Angeles Rams as the teams with the most starting QBs this season with four.
Blough, who was signed Dec. 14, found out Friday morning that he would get the ball in Atlanta over Trace McSorley, who started Sunday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kingsbury said it would give him a chance to evaluate Blough before choosing between McSorley and Blough for the season finale against the San Francisco 49ers.
Blough said hearing that he was going to start was “maybe shocking.” He will be making his first start since 2019, when he went 0-5 with the Detroit Lions, and he hasn’t thrown a pass in a game since 2020.
“You never know how many opportunities you get in this league, and to be able to be standing here after getting here a few weeks ago, I’m excited to go cut it loose and give these guys everything I got,” Blough said.
When asked how McSorley took the news, Kingsbury said, “He’s a competitor.”
Blough said both co-pass-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Cam Turner and Kingsbury have been working with him to teach him the offense and he feels “comfortable” going into Sunday’s game.
“He’s done a nice job picking up this week,” Kingsbury said. “So, we’ll make sure we tailor the script to stuff he feels good about and, um, let him go try to play fast and execute at a high level.”
Blough, who is from Carrollton, Texas, said he grew up watching Texas Tech run the Air Raid offense but hasn’t had a chance to play in it.
“As a backup in this league, you have to prepare yourself as if you’re gonna play and then you go and do your job,” Blough said. “Every stop along the way, I think somewhat of an opportunity like this has come along and you gotta prove that you’re ready and can handle these situations.”
Blough, however, might be without one of the Cardinals’ top targets on Sunday. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins left practice before the open portion was over with what Kingsbury called a “little bit of a knee issue.”
Arizona is expected to make a decision Saturday on whether Hopkins will play against the Falcons.