Chris Streveler backup QB for Arizona Cardinals in first career NFL game

Photo courtesy: Arizona Cardinals

Former CFL quarterback Chris Streveler is the backup for the Arizona Cardinals in his first career NFL game.

The Cards put out their inactive list for Week 1 against the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, which kics off at 4:25 p.m. ET, and fellow pivot Brett Hundley was among them. The NFL inactive list is smaller for the 2020 season, 48 active compared to 46 in years past, as long as eight players are offensive lineman.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim are high on Streveler’s athleticism and versatility. Arizona is carrying three quarterbacks on the roster to start the 2020 season — former first overall pick Kyler Murray, Streveler and the journeyman Hundley.

The 25-year-old Streveler threw for 2,698 yards in two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers along with 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He rushed for 1,167 yards and 22 touchdowns averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

Streveler was especially effective for Winnipeg during the 2019 Grey Cup run in the post-season. He rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown in the West Semi-Final in Calgary and threw a touchdown pass to Andrew Harris in the Grey Cup.

The University of South Dakota product has drawn comparisons to New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Taysom Hill as an explosive athlete who can attack defences with his arm and legs. He runs a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, posted a 38.5-inch vertical, and fired off a 10-foot, five-inch broad jump at six-foot-two, 209 pounds.

Each of those three testing results would have been top among all quarterbacks who attended the 2018 NFL Combine. They are elite numbers for any position, much less the quarterback spot.

Every NFL franchise had a representative at Streveler’s pro day in March 2018 and he worked out privately for the Chicago Bears, but went unselected in the 2018 NFL Draft. He turned down NFL rookie mini-camp invitations to sign with Winnipeg.

Streveler was a captain in college who led the Coyotes to the FCS playoffs for the first time in program history as a senior. He completed 65.7 per cent of his passes for 4,134 yards, 32 touchdowns against eight interceptions while rushing for 720 yards and 11 touchdowns on 168 carries (4.3 yards-per-carry-average) during 13 games in his senior season for South Dakota.

Kingsbury and Keim are trusting Streveler to be behind Murry and there is special package intrigue for the ultra athletic dual-threat quarterback.