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Josh Rosen Makes NFL Debut vs. Bears After Replacing Sam Bradford

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2018

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen warm up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles RamsSunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The Arizona Cardinals couldn't have picked a more pressure-packed scenario for rookie quarterback Josh Rosen to make his NFL debut.

Rosen entered Sunday's game with his team trailing the Chicago Bears 16-14 with less than five minutes remaining. He checked in after Sam Bradford absorbed a hard hit from Khalil Mack and lost a fumble on his team's previous possession, although the starter had his helmet while watching on the sidelines.

Unfortunately for Cardinals fans, Rosen didn't treat them to the storybook ending they were surely hoping for when he entered the contest. He led the Cardinals into Chicago territory but threw an interception on a fourth-down play to cornerback Bryce Callahan with pressure bearing down on him.

He had one more chance on Arizona's last possession with zero timeouts and 43 seconds remaining, but he was sacked before he could unleash a desperation Hail Mary.

Still, the future figures to be bright for the signal-caller, who Arizona selected with the 10th overall pick out of UCLA.

Rosen threw for 3,756 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the Bruins in his final collegiate season and showed the Cardinals enough to make him their quarterback of the future. That future was accelerated Sunday when he was put into a potential game-winning situation against a Chicago pass rush featuring Mack, but better days are ahead.

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Although Arizona is 0-3, there are some pieces on the roster to help Rosen's development.

David Johnson is one of the best running backs in the league and will force opposing defenses to creep into the box and potentially open passing lanes, while veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald offers a safety valve. What's more, Football Outsiders ranked the offensive line as the fourth-best run-blocking unit and 12th-best pass-blocking unit in the league through two weeks.

Rosen could have played the role of hero Sunday, but he will have plenty of opportunities in the future.

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