Who is Chris Streveler? Cardinals’ playoff hopes rest on former CFL quarterback

Chris Streveler has big-game experience. It just came north of the border in the Canadian Football League.

In Week 17, Streveler’s putting that to good use. Kyler Murray (ankle) left the Cardinals’ game against the Rams with an injury, forcing Arizona to turn to Streveler with its season on the line. The only way the Cardinals guarantee a playoff berth is with a win, and at least temporarily, Streveler is the man whose holding Arizona’s postseason dreams on his shoulders.

Here’s what you need to know about an unlikely playoff decider, Chris Streveler.

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1. An FCS star at South Dakota

Streveler began his college career at the University of Minnesota before transferring to South Dakota, an FCS program. He played two seasons with the Coyotes, throwing for 6,081 yards and 54 touchdowns, and he finished as the runner-up for the Walter Payton Award (FCS Heisman equivalent) after the 2017 season.

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2. Canadian Football League champion

Streveler spent two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL (2018-19). In 2018, he was used as an occasional starter while also being brought in for running plays at the QB position. He didn’t hold a full-time starting job in 2019, either.

But the Blue Bombers went all the way in 2019, winning the Grey Cup, the CFL’s equivalent to the Super Bowl. Streveler threw a touchdown, ran for 30 yards and caught a pass in the Grey Cup.

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3. An unlikely NFL backup

Streveler might not have been the favorite to backup Murray when the Cardinals signed him on Feb. 4, 2020. Veteran backup Brett Hundley had been the second stringer for Arizona in 2019, Murray’s rookie year.

But likely in part because Streveler’s mobility allows Arizona to run much of the same offense with him as with Murray, Streveler leapfrogged Hundley to earn Murray’s backup role in 2020. He ran for a three-yard first down on Sept. 13, his NFL debut.

4. A fast starter

Streveler completed his first two NFL passes, which both came after he replaced Murray in Week 17. The first was a three-yard pass to Trent Sherfield.

The second completion didn’t feature a high degree of difficulty, as Jonathan Ward sprinted in front of Streveler for a pitched pop pass. But Ward took it into the end zone for an 11-yard TD.

That goes in the books as Streveler’s first NFL touchdown pass.

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