The Arizona Cardinals have been reported to have COVID issues throughout the week, but Friday’s announcement is certainly a big one. Head coach and offensive play caller Kliff Kingsbury tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday’s road game against the Cleveland Browns.
As I write, only some of the -3s that were out there on the board are morphing to -3.5s and this Kingsbury news certainly overshadows the fact that Nick Chubb was ruled out this morning for the Browns.
The total is also taking a bit of a dive here, as the Cardinals will be without their play caller. A windy forecast was already playing games with the total, but now that Kingsbury won’t be there to call the game, the 49.5s that were out there in the market are dropping down to as low as 48.5.
The resignation of Jon Gruden was the subject of a VSiN article earlier this week that asked and answered the question of how much the absence of a head coach affects the line. At that point, the line basically went from -3 to -3.5 and that was about it. The line has since grown to -4.
This situation, while extremely different, seems to be in line for the same kind of line movement. Kingsbury has been ruled out less than 48 hours before the Cardinals were set to play the Browns and it also comes as more of a shock than the Gruden announcement. The Kingsbury announcement had the timing of a Friday news dump on the West Coast, but certainly amounts to a lot more than that. And yet, the line also hasn’t really moved that much more than a half-point, if at all across the market.
In the lead-up to kickoff, we’ll have to see if any other Cardinals coaches or personnel pop positive tests or are forced to be isolated for being close contacts with Kingsbury. Obviously just about every coach and player has some sort of interaction with the head coach. So far, we know that QB coach Cam Turner will also be unavailable following a positive test.
This game already had extensive injury reports for both sides and now the COVID concerns from the Cardinals could continue to play a factor in where this line goes throughout Saturday and on into Sunday, as it is one of the games in the 4 p.m. ET window.
The Cardinals are now in “enhanced protocols”, but the game is still on as scheduled and Arizona is slated to fly into Cleveland on Saturday.