NOVEMBER 10: Gannon confirmed on Friday that Murray will indeed get the nod in Week 10, making the matchup against the Falcons an important first step in the evaluation process for Arizona’s new brain trust. In addition to Murray, the Cardinals could have running back James Conner in the lineup as well. Gannon added that the latter is “trending in the right direction” to be able to suit up. Conner was designated for return earlier this week, and he will need to be activated no later than Saturday to play against Atlanta.
NOVEMBER 6: The Cardinals are expecting Kyler Murray to be under center this weekend. Coach Jonathan Gannon told reporters that Murray will be serving as the QB1 during this week’s practice, and if all goes well, the franchise quarterback will start on Sunday against the Falcons.
Either way, Murray will be activated from the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday. After returning to practice in October, the 21-day window to activate Murray from PUP was set to expire this week.
Following the Cardinals’ decision to trade fill-in Joshua Dobbs at the deadline, there was hope that Murray would be ready for Week 9. Instead, the team rolled with rookie Clayton Tune against the Browns yesterday. The results weren’t pretty; Tune passed for only 58 yards, had three turnovers, and was sacked seven times.
While Murray is expected to be back this weekend, Gannon admitted that the quarterback might not look like his old self. It’s been about 11 months since Murray last saw the field for a regular-season game, and the quarterback has spent the better part of a year rehabbing from a torn ACL. As a result, it might take a bit for him to shake off the rust.
“We have to be willing to understand it might not look like Kyler,” Gannon said (via the team’s website). “I think he has a good expectation of that, the coaches have a good expectation of that. I know this, he’s going to come out there, play his game and help us win.”
After earning a pair of Pro Bowls and guiding Arizona to 17 wins between the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the quarterback struggled a bit in 2022. While he had a career-low 1.8 percent interception rate, he was also connecting on a career-low 215 passing yards per game. With Kliff Kingsbury now out of the picture, it will be interesting to see what Gannon and co. can get out of the franchise QB.
Speaking of, the Cardinals may have been willing to bail on Murray prior to the trade deadline. Dianna Russini of The Athletic believes that the front office would have been willing to hear offers on the quarterback, but Murray’s contract makes a trade too problematic. Murray inked a five-year, $230.5MM extension ($160MM guaranteed) with the Cardinals during the 2022 offseason.