After Kliff Kingsbury was asked at his Monday day-after-the-game press conference about his message to the team following Sunday night’s loss to Tampa Bay, the Cardinals coach was then asked how he avoids sounding like a broken record when talking to the players.

The reality is Kingsbury has become an expert at sounding like a broken record when refusing to communicate basic information to the media. Specifically, providing incomplete injury updates and sometimes having news break within minutes of the conference ending.

That happened twice on Monday, along with his refusal to confirm a report on the NBC broadcast Monday night that quarterback Kyler Murray is scheduled for knee surgery Jan. 3.

When Kingsbury was asked about Murray’s surgery after the game Sunday, he said, “I have not heard that.”

Monday, when asked if he has any information on the surgery, Kingsbury said, “I just know after the new year. That’s all I know. I haven’t got the exact date on it.”

It strains credulity that no one on the team’s medical staff has told Kingsbury when the surgery will take place.

It’s par for the course that, unlike many NFL head coaches who open press conferences with a comprehensive injury report, Kingsbury only provides updates when asked specifically.

So it was that within seconds Monday of Kingsbury finishing his weekly day-after interview with the team’s flagship radio station ArizonaSports 98.7 FM that begins right after he’s done with the general media session, news broke from NFL Media that safety Budda Baker will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a fractured shoulder against the Bucs.

It’s not known when Baker was injured because he played all 81 defensive snaps in the game. Kingsbury won’t be available to questions again until Wednesday.

However, Kingsbury tapes his weekly TV show, Cardinals Game Plan, on Mondays, and because the team website sometimes has access the traditional media does not, they were able to report what he said about Baker: “I can’t say enough good things about him. The performance that he gives each and every day in practice and in the games, he’s on the sideline acting like it’s a bruise or something and plays the entire game and it turns out it’s a fracture. It tells you all you need to know about the type of teammate and person he is.”

Meanwhile, earlier this season, when tight end Zach Ertz suffered a knee injury in Week 10 against the Rams, in both his interviews the next day, Kingsbury said they wouldn’t know the status for a day or two. Yet, within seconds of concluding the 98.7 session, national media reported that Ertz had torn his ACL and was done for the season.

Finally, Kingsbury was asked Monday for an injury update on long snapper Aaron Brewer. He said, “It was a pec issue, so we’re still sorting through that.”

They sure did. One hour later, but in a transaction that had to be reported to the league office by 2 pm Arizona time, five minutes after his radio interview ended, the team announced that Brewer had been placed on reserve/injured.

Snap shots

Cornerback Marco Wilson missed the game against Denver after he suffered a stinger in the loss to the Patriots the previous Monday. Wilson started Sunday night and had two interceptions of quarterback Tom Brady. However, Wilson aggravated the injury, apparently on a tackle of Bucs running back Leonard Fournette in the fourth quarter, and missed 22 snaps at the end of the game. His absence contributed to the success Brady had that brought the Bucs from behind.

Asked about Wilson Monday, Kingsbury said, “It’s day-to-day. It’s kind of a lingering thing, but I hope he progresses this week and can play.”

Thanks to the Wilson’s re-injury, the Cardinals claimed cornerback Josh Jackson, who was waived by the Steelers Saturday. Jackson was in training camp with the Cardinals and was released Aug. 29.

Wide receiver Marquise Brown was added to the injury report Thursday with a groin injury and was listed as questionable Friday. Brown was not in the starting lineup and wasn’t on the field a lot early in the game. He ended up playing only 50 snaps (66 percent). However, it wasn’t related to the injury. He told the team website, “I was late to a meeting, so Coach decided to cut my playing time.”

Right tackle Kelvin Beachum (knee/ankle) and cornerback Antonio Hamilton (back) were both questionable, but each played every snap: Beachum 76 on offense and Hamilton 81 on defense . . .  Center Billy Price has played every snap since becoming a starter in Week 7 against the Saints, but left the locker room after the game with his right knee heavily wrapped in what was likely ice. … Quarterback Colt McCoy was inactive because of the concussion he suffered against the Broncos. McCoy was limited in practice Friday although he hadn’t fully exited the protocol. Kingsbury said Monday, “Hopefully, he can get out of protocol completely and progress to the point that he starts. I’m not sure when that’s going to be, but that’s our hope.”

Asked if he’s hoping McCoy will play Sunday against the Falcons, Kingsbury said, “Yes. As of today.”

Since defensive lineman Trysten Hill was claimed on waivers from the Cowboys Nov. 2, after being inactive for his first game with the team, Hill has become a contributing part of the rotation. In the five games prior to Sunday, his percentage of snaps were 25, 21, 23, 29 and 33. However, he suffered a knee injury early in the second quarter against the Bucs and played only eight snaps (10 percent). Kingsbury said Monday it was “some sort of MCL sprain or bone contusion, it sounded like,” and added, “Not great as far as the immediate future, but it didn’t look like anything to that structurally. He won’t be available this week, but at least it doesn’t seem like it’ll be anything long term.”

Charting the snaps (snaps/percentage; starters in bold)

*Indicates player that did not play from scrimmage, but participated on special teams

OFFENSE (76 snaps, 17 players)

Quarterbacks: Trace McSorley (76/100)

Did not play: David Blough. Inactive: Colt McCoy (injured). Reserve/injured: Kyler Murray

Running backs: James Conner (74/97), Keaontay Ingram (7/9)

Did not play: *Corey Clement. Reserve/injured: Darrel Williams (eligible to return)

Wide receivers: DeAndre Hopkins (71/93), Greg Dortch (58/76), Marquise Brown (50/66), A.J. Green (20/26), Robbie Anderson (5/7)

Reserve/injured: Rondale Moore, Antoine Wesley

Tight ends: Trey McBride (64/84), Maxx Williams (21/28), Stephen Anderson (9/12), Pharoh Cooper (1/1)

Reserve/injured: Zach Ertz (eligible to return)

Offensive linemen: LT Josh Jones (76/100), LG Max Garcia (76/100), C Billy Price (76/100), RG Will Hernandez (76/100), RT Kelvin Beachum (76/100)

Did not play: RT *Cody Ford, G *Lecitus Smith, C/G *Sean Harlow. Inactive: G Rashaad Coward, G Wyatt Davis. Reserve/injured: LT D.J. Humphries (eligible to return), C Rodney Hudson (eligible to return), LG Justin Pugh (eligible to return), T Josh Miles, G Marquis Hayes

DEFENSE (69 snaps, 23 players)

Defensive linemen: DE J.J. Watt (77/95), NT Leki Fotu (47/58), DE Jonathan Ledbetter (41/51), DE Michael Dogbe (12/15), NT Trysten Hill (8/10)

Inactive: DE Zach Allen. Reserve/injured: NT Rashard Lawrence (eligible to return)

Linebackers: ILB Zaven Collins (78/96), ILB Isaiah Simmons (77/95), OLB Markus Golden (63/78), OLB Myjai Sanders (37/46), ILB Ben Niemann (39/48), OLB Cameron Thomas (34/42), ILB Kamu Grugier-Hill (18/22), ILB Tanner Vallejo (15/19), OLB Dennis Gardeck (9/11)

Did not play: ILB *Ezekiel Turner, S *Charles Washington. Inactive: OLB Victor Dimukeje, OLB Jesse Luketa. Reserve/injured ILB Nick Vigil (eligible to return)

Defensive backs: S Budda Baker (81/99), CB Antonio Hamilton (81/100), S Jalen Thompson (78/96), CB Marco Wilson (58/73), CB Christian Matthew (30/37), S Chris Banjo (7/9)

Did not play: CB *Nate Hairston, S *Charles Washington. Inactive: CB Byron Murphy Jr. (injured), CB Jace Whittaker

SPECIAL TEAMS (33 snaps, 33 players)

LB Ezekiel Turner (29/88), LB Dennis Gardeck (29/88), S Chris Banjo (29/88), S Charles Washington (29/88), LB Tanner Vallejo (27/82), TE Stephen Anderson (24/73), LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (23/70), CB Nate Hairston (17/52), RB Corey Clement (16/48), P Andy Lee (12/36), LS Aaron Brewer (12/36), LB Ben Niemann (12/36), WR/RS Pharoh Cooper (11/33), TE Maxx Williams (10/30), K Matt Prater (9/27), DT Leki Fotu (9/27), CB Christian Matthew (6/18), DE Jonathan Ledbetter (5/15), LB Zaven Collins (5/15), LB Cameron Thomas (5/15), S Budda Baker (5/15), S Jalen Thompson (5/15), T Josh Jones (4/12), G Max Garcia (4/12), TE Trey McBride (4/12), DE Michael Dogbe (4/12), T Cody Ford (4/12), G Lecitus Smith (4/12), C/G Sean Harlow (4/12), RB Keaontay Ingram (2/6), LB Myjai Sanders (2/6), CB Antonio Hamilton (1/3), DT Trysten Hill (1/13)

Don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions on Twitter @hbalzer721 or email me:


Howard Balzer is in his 47th year covering professional football as a writer, editor and broadcaster and has covered 41 Super Bowls. His connection with pro football began in 1976 with College and Pro Football Newsweekly, and since then he has been a featured columnist for The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, USA Today Sports Weekly and The Sports Xchange. Balzer moved to St. Louis in 1978 to work for The Sporting News, where he became Pro Football Editor in 1979. He was an analyst on ESPN's initial broadcast of the NFL Draft in 1980 and continued in that role through 1988. He has won seven writing awards in the Professional Football Writers of America competition, won an Emmy for commentaries on KPLR-TV in St. Louis in 1986 and was nominated for an Emmy in 1988 and 1990. He was named the 2016 winner of the Bob Broeg Media Award presented by the St. Louis/Tom Lombardo Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. The award is for enthusiasm, integrity, professionalism and devotion to the game of football and is reserved for individuals whose contributions to football in the St. Louis area have made a significant difference. Balzer was an officer (secretary and secretary/treasurer) for the Professional Football Writers of America for 33 years and was inducted into the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Balzer relocated to the Phoenix area in 2020 as the publisher of the FanNation AllCardinals site and is now the Cardinals reporter for PHNX. He is entering his 19th year as one of 49 voting members on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee and is also on the Hall's Seniors Committee. He is the co-host of the weekly Pro Football Hall of Fame radio show on SiriusXM NFL Radio and is a part-time host at ArizonaSports 98.7 FM.