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Cardinals Gearing Up for 'Expedited' Game Week

The Arizona Cardinals have the tall task of preparing for the Green Bay Packers on a short week.

Less than an hour after the Cardinals defeated the Houston Texans Sunday, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he was going back to his office to watch the Packers game film. 

The 6-1 Packers come to play the 7-0 Cardinals on Thursday Night Football this week.

"Everything is quicker," quarterback Kyler Murray said postgame. "I think whoever handles the week better usually tends to play a little bit better. Hopefully we understand the task at hand and come ready to play Thursday.”

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins called the short week against a top-tier opponent the toughest thing to deal with in the NFL. 

Fellow receiver Christian Kirk even said Monday that the team won't even review the Houston game much. He stated that the Cardinals were diving in to Green Bay starting Monday afternoon. 

Linebacker Isaiah Simmons told reporters after Sunday's game that he planned to watch the Packers film that night. 

For Kingsbury, this week brings a unique challenge as a play-caller. 

Usually, he installs plays throughout the week of practice to watch them in full speed. 

This week, the Cardinals cannot perform their usual practices due to time constraints and a recovery period. 

"It's mainly walk-throughs, jog-throughs type tempo," Kingsbury said. "As a coach you like to see it at full speed, you like to see the timing, you like to see the spacing of it. You don't get the best look at that. But everybody's got to deal with it. 

"The main thing is the players' health and getting them recovered and rested and ready to roll."

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Kingsbury just experienced a week in which he did not get to see his plays in full speed until game day. He was out with COVID-19 until Sunday.

Players have different itineraries throughout the week to get their bodies recovered and ready for another physical game. 

Therefore, the Cardinals had to get a jump start on that after Sunday's performance.

Tight end Zach Ertz, who played on Thursday Night Football in Week 6 before getting traded to Arizona, had a massage therapist appointment for after the game.

He was also in the cold tubs between the final whistle and his postgame press conference. 

"(This is) my second one in about three weeks, so I've kind of rinse and repeat from the last one," Ertz said postgame. "I've been doing it for nine years now so I kind of have the routine down for Thursday night games. I just didn't anticipate doing it twice in a year."

Edge rusher Markus Golden, who had two sacks in each of the past two games, said he planned on getting in Epsom salt baths and doing extra stretching.

Linebacker Jordan Hicks said, "It's a race. A race to get healthy, a race to game-plan and learn what's coming."

Thursday's game has the potential to be major when it comes to the NFC playoff picture. The Cardinals are not even at the halfway point of the season yet, but the winner of this week's game will own the top seed in the conference. 

The Los Angeles Rams are also 6-1, trailing the Cardinals in the NFC West by just one game. They face the 1-6 Texans in Week 8.

The Cardinals have preached their 1-0 mantra every week, and it has worked thus far. With so much to focus on against Green Bay, that will be important to keep in mind.