The Cardinals will be without their 10th-year GM going forward. Steve Keim stepped away from his post for the time being, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes this health-related matter has been on the radar for months (video link). Keim’s future with the Cardinals is “up in the air,” Rapoport adds. This news comes months after Keim agreed to an extension that runs through 2027. Both Keim and Kliff Kingsbury signed add-ons this offseason, though the latter has also run into some turbulence. With Keim stepping away, Kyler Murray going down with an ACL tear and Kingsbury on the hot seat, this has been one of the more disappointing seasons in recent Cardinals history.
Here is the latest from Arizona and the rest of the NFC West:
- Brock Purdy was not throwing during the 49ers‘ Tuesday practice, but the new San Francisco starter is expected to play through his rib and oblique injuries against the Seahawks tonight, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Purdy stayed in Sunday’s game despite suffering those injuries. The 49ers, who have lost both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo to major injuries this season, have journeyman Josh Johnson — recently signed off the Broncos’ practice squad — in place as their backup. Purdy and Johnson are the only two healthy QBs on San Francisco’s 53-man roster. Garoppolo remains on the active roster, for IR-management purposes, but is unlikely to return this season.
- Shifting back to the Cardinals‘ quarterback situation, Murray is not slated to have surgery until after Christmas, Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com tweets. This is common for ACL surgeries, with the delay helping the swelling subside. Saquon Barkley ended up waiting over a month to have his ACL surgery in 2020 and was ready in time for the 2021 season. Week 1 will obviously be Murray’s goal, but given the through-2028 extension the Cardinals gave Murray this offseason, it would not surprise to see the organization play this cautionsly.
- Thought to be leaving for Matt Rhule‘s Nebraska staff, Rams assistant Jake Peetz is staying in Los Angeles. Peetz turned down an offer to head to Lincoln, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. Currently a Rams offensive assistant, Peetz was believed to have been offered the Nebraska quarterbacks coach job. He was the Panthers’ QBs coach under Rhule in 2020 and is a Nebraska native who played for the Cornhuskers during the 2000s. With Rams OC Liam Coen leaving to be Kentucky’s OC soon, it would not surprise to see Peetz rise on Sean McVay‘s staff.
- The Rams will, however, lose their running backs coach — Ra’Shaad Samples — to the college ranks. Samples is heading to Arizona State to become the Pac-12 program’s wide receivers coach and passing-game coordinator, per Matt Zenitz of On3Sports. This season marked Samples’ first in the NFL. Impressively rising to the level of an NFL position coach at just 27, Samples will return to the college ranks. He was previously SMU’s running backs coach before heading to L.A. Samples also drew coordinator interest at the college level, Zenitz adds.
- McVay’s staff has seen a run of connections to the college level in recent weeks. Prior to Arizona State and Georgia Tech hiring Kenny Dillingham and Brent Key, respectively, the schools were interested in Rams assistants. Tight ends coach Thomas Brown drew interest from the Sun Devils, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler, who adds defensive line coach Eric Henderson was on the Yellowjackets’ radar. A Georgia Tech alum, Henderson, 39, has been with the Rams since 2019. Brown, 36, has been with the team since 2020, joining the Rams after 10 seasons as a college staffer. The latter has generated praise as a rising NFL assistant, so the Rams retaining him is critical.
- The Rams used their high waiver position to claim former Titans defensive lineman Larrell Murchison, but Field Yates of ESPN.com notes the Seahawks and Lions also made claims (Twitter link). Murchison’s rookie contract runs through the 2023 season; the Rams will have a chance to evaluate the former fifth-round pick.