Welcome to the HBO spotlight, Colt McCoy.
It was fitting that Wednesday's episode of Hard Knocks, which was the second one of the in-season, behind-the-scenes look at the Arizona Cardinals, opened with star quarterback Kyler Murray receiving treatment.
It was a reminder that the adversity from a slow start to the season that was the focus of the first episode was still very much present one week later.
Murray dealt with a hamstring injury, safety Budda Baker suffered a high ankle sprain and the offensive line had health concerns ahead of a matchup with Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams. Kelvin Beachum went to the hospital for what was feared to be appendicitis but ultimately wasn't, which led to some relief and jokes from teammates and coaches.
Cameron Cox @CamCox12
.<a href="https://twitter.com/KelvinBeachumJr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KelvinBeachumJr</a> 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂....<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HardKnocks?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HardKnocks</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/12SportsAZ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@12SportsAZ</a> <a href="https://t.co/fEVdek0jUw">pic.twitter.com/fEVdek0jUw</a>
Arizona Cardinals @AZCardinals
grab your popcorn 🍿<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HardKnocks?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HardKnocks</a> In-Season is now streaming on <a href="https://twitter.com/hbomax?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HBOMax</a> <a href="https://t.co/N8ZfQdvBqo">pic.twitter.com/N8ZfQdvBqo</a>
The season seemed to be slipping away for the Cardinals after a loss to the Seattle Seahawks dropped their record to 3-6, especially with all the health concerns.
But the urgency to turn things around stood out, whether it was Baker finding his way back onto the field much earlier than expected, new father J.J. Watt explaining what he went through to get back when his heart was shocked back into rhythm or McCoy demonstrating plenty of leadership in practice, film study and the quarterback room.
Cameron Cox @CamCox12
More McCoy "If we know what to do and if the spacing is right and you do your job, we will beat this team. We will beat anybody. That is the bottom line. So when we talk about, like, what can we do? It's these little details that are just adding up." (2/2) <a href="https://twitter.com/12SportsAZ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@12SportsAZ</a>
That leadership translated to Sunday, as McCoy led the Cardinals to a 27-17 victory that changed the entire outlook of their season.
It proved to be a backup bowl, as John Wolford played for the injured Matthew Stafford on the other side. McCoy came out on top and went 26-of-37 for 238 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions, while James Conner scored two touchdowns on the ground.
The game stood out for more than just the result, as Cardinals associate head coach and wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson went up against his son, Van. That gave Hard Knocks the opportunity to provide one of the heart-touching moments the show is known for, but the attention eventually returned to football.
NFL Films @NFLFilms
Nobody coaches you like your dad ♥<br><br>Shawn and Van Jefferson shared a heartfelt moment after facing off against each other. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HardKnocks?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HardKnocks</a> In Season with the <a href="https://twitter.com/AZCardinals?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AZCardinals</a> continues Tonight at 10pm ET on <a href="https://twitter.com/hbomax?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hbomax</a> <a href="https://t.co/GkUZDh83mR">pic.twitter.com/GkUZDh83mR</a>
Thanks to McCoy's effort, returns for Baker and Beachum, dominance from Watt, and strong play throughout the roster, the Cardinals are now 4-6 and have some momentum on their side heading into a divisional game against the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico on Monday Night Football.