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The debut of Zach Ertz and other things to watch for in Cardinals vs Texans

The Arizona Cardinals are facing the Houston Texans Sunday at State Farm Stadium and are looking to remain undefeated this season.
Credit: AP
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) plays against the Cleveland Browns during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

PHOENIX — Everything is looking good for the Arizona Cardinals. The team is 6-0 and the talk of the NFL to start the 2021 season. Numerous players have been nominated for Player of the Week honors, most recently Kicker Matt Prater.

Arizona also finds itself atop the NFC West standings and is now in the contender conversation. But all that is not without adversity.

Several injuries have plagued the team and forced others to step up in their place. Center Rodney Hudson, linebacker Jordan Hicks and several other players have spent time on the injury report this year.

But how will this week's matchup between the Cardinals and Texans go? Here are a few things to look out for.

RELATED: Cardinals kicker Prater named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after blowout win in Cleveland

Where to watch the game

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021
  • Kickoff: 1:25 p.m. MST
    • Car park opens at 9:15 a.m.
    • Club gates open at 9:45 a.m.
    • All gates open at 11:45 a.m.
  • Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
  • TV: CBS
  • Radio: 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

The debt of Zach Ertz

After completing the trade for tight end Zach Ertz last week, General Manager Steve Keim will join the rest of the Cardinals fans to see how Ertz will fit into this offense.

Injured tight end Maxx Williams was showing signs of becoming a popular target for Kyler Murray this season, so we will have to see if the duo can develop the chemistry needed to make this offense even more potent.

Hello, old friends

With Houston making their way to State Farm Stadium, the game will be a homecoming of sorts for former Texans JJ Watt and DeAndre Hopkins. Before joining the Cardinals, the pair were teammates in Houston and put up Pro-Bowl seasons in the Lone Star State.

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DJ returns to the Valley

The other half of the DeAndre Hopkins trade was running back David Johnson going to Houston. Last season, Johnson posted 691 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games. He also had 33 catches for 314 yards. As far as Hopkins goes, he earned another Pro Bowl nod season with 115 catches for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns. 

Johnson returns to Arizona and probably hopes to put up big numbers against his former team. We will see if the Cardinals' defense will keep him and Mark Ingram in check.

Calling Coach Kingsbury

As of Thursday afternoon, the status of Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury remains uncertain. After missing last week's game against Cleveland due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, it will be interesting to see how the team will handle play-calling duties once again.

RELATED: Meet the coach who filled in for Kliff Kingsbury and called the Cardinals' offense in their win over Cleveland

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