Kyler Murray Aiming For Week 1 Return

Yesterday saw Kyler Murray make a number of remarks related to the forgettable manner in which his 2022 season came to an end and the issues which existed between he and the since-departed Kliff Kingsbury-Steve Keim regime. Attention will now focus on the Cardinals quarterback’s ACL recovery.

Murray tore his ACL in December, which gave him a challenging path to recover in time for the start of the regular season. News of a clean tear presented optimism regarding the overall rehab process, but the expectation has nevertheless been that he will miss time in September. The former No. 1 overall pick is pushing back against that notion, however.

“When you look further down the line, it seems like we got a long way to go. Ideally, I want to be back by Week 1,” he said during the Cardinals’ Flight Plan series, via Tyler Drake of “That’s the goal. At the end of the day, that’s the goal, but I can’t really look that far ahead. Got to take it one day at a time.”

An aggressive approach to recovery would still see Murray miss considerable time in training camp and the preseason, making it highly likely that he will spend time on the active/PUP list. Between an on-field absence during important practice sessions under new head coach Jonathan Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, along with his importance to the team, Murray’s stated intention of being available for Week 1 is unlikely. Arizona has him on the books through 2028 after inking him to a massive extension last summer, so a cautious approach to the recovery process would make sense.

The Cardinals are also expected to contend for the top pick in the 2024 draft more so than a postseason berth, adding further to the upside of keeping Murray off the field to begin the campaign. Veteran Colt McCoy will likely see time during Murray’s absence in what could be the former’s final opportunity to see regular season game action in the NFL. The latter, though, is intent on rebounding from an underwhelming performance last season and helping the team’s rebuilding process bear fruit.

“It’s got to be a positive. There’s really no option for it to be a negative,” Murray said of the setback the ACL tear represents. “Life doesn’t stop, the job doesn’t stop. My ultimate goal is to get better and obviously win Super Bowls. That’s my goal.”

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