DENVER (AP) — Arizona quarterback Colt McCoy entered the concussion protocol after taking a hit to the helmet while diving for a first down early in the third quarter in the Cardinals’ 24-15 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
McCoy was tackled by Broncos linebacker Alex Singleton and his head went into the right leg of Cardinals offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum. McCoy briefly got to his knees before falling back to the turf.
McCoy stayed down for a moment as trainers checked on him and players for both teams gathered around the veteran QB. A cart was brought out to take McCoy off the field, but McCoy got up and walked toward the locker room on his own.
“You never like to see that. It has a tough impact, going out there and seeing them like that. But talking to our trainers, he’s doing better, so that’s good,” Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
Beachum also left the game after the play but later returned.
McCoy was stepping in for Kyler Murray, who was lost for the season last week when he tore an ACL.
“Obviously last week, extremely tough and this week, tough again,” said J.J. Watt, who had three of the Cardinals’ seven sacks. “That’s the reality of this league — injuries are a part of it.”
Trace McSorley replaced McCoy, who was 13 of 21 for 78 yards and an interception. McCoy also took a big hit to the midsection.
After replacing McCoy, McSorley led Arizona to a field goal to give Arizona a 9-3 lead, but the Broncos scored the next 21 points.
“When I first got in it was just operate the offense,” McSorley said. “Move the ball, get us in position where we can get a field goal. That was my mindset going into it. First thing was hoping Colt was OK.”
McSorley finished 7 of 15 for 95 yards and two interceptions, the first of which Justin Simmons returned to the Cardinals 10. Denver scored two plays later to make it 24-9. McSorley led Arizona on a 78-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals (4-10) were eliminated from the playoffs.
“We’re in a very difficult spot,” Watt said. “You’re not only playing for these last three games for this team, but you’re putting film on tape for next year as well. And it sucks. I don’t like having to stand up there and say that, but that’s the truth. You got to be a professional, do what you need to do because the reality is you’re playing for a job for next year.”
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