Kyler Murray

Jonathan Gannon: ‘No Doubt’ Kyler Murray Is Cardinals’ Franchise QB

Jonathan Gannon has not exactly been hesitant to praise Kyler Murray since taking over as the Cardinals’ head coach. But the second half of Arizona’s season has been framed around seeing how the former Pro Bowler looks in a new offense. More talent around Murray is clearly needed, but the rookie HC is still confident in his triggerman.

When asked during a radio interview with Arizona Sports’ Burns and Gambo Tuesday (via about Murray’s post-2023 future in Arizona, Gannon said, “There is no doubt No. 1 is our franchise quarterback.” Chuckling at the question of the Cards’ 2024 QB1, Gannon has been consistent in his support for the fifth-year quarterback.

An updated endorsement is necessary not only due to Murray’s run of starts but because of the Cardinals’ draft position. Although their upset win over the Eagles dropped them in the draft order, the team still sits fourth. With neither the Bears nor Commanders — stationed at Nos. 1 and 2 — locked into drafting a quarterback, the Cardinals could have an important decision to make. Nearly a year after trading out of the No. 3 overall draft slot and signing off on a rebuilding year as Murray rehabbed his torn ACL, Gannon and GM Monti Ossenfort appear prepared to roll out the dual-threat QB in 2024 as well.

Murray is 3-4 as a starter, tripling the win total the Cardinals accumulated with Josh Dobbs at the helm, and has offered up-and-down work in OC Drew Petzing‘s attack. Murray is averaging just 6.5 yards per attempt. While that is up from his disappointing finale with Kliff Kingsbury, it is well south of his Pro Bowl work from 2020 and 2021. His 64.5% completion rate is also on pace to be the worst since his rookie year. That said, the Cardinals have a bottom-tier skill-position array and figure to be in the market for wide receiver help soon. Marquise Brown is finishing this season on IR; the 2022 trade acquisition will be an unrestricted free agent in March.

The Cardinals’ five-year, $230.5MM Murray extension will be difficult to move in 2024, anyway. Less effusive in praising the QB he inherited, Sean Payton‘s deteriorating relationship with Russell Wilson is set to key a record-shattering $84.6MM in dead money. Even though that will be spread over two years via a post-June 1 cut, the Broncos’ 2025 end of that total — slated at $55MM — would still eclipse what it would cost the Cardinals to move Murray in 2024. Still, Arizona would be tagged with $46MM in dead money if Murray were traded before June 1. Until the Wilson cut commences, the Falcons’ $40.5MM Matt Ryan dead-money hit resides as the NFL’s single-player record.

The Cards owe Murray an $11.9MM guarantee on March 17 — Day 5 of the 2023 league year — if he is still on the roster; that money covers part of his 2025 salary. The year-out guarantee would stand to drive an early trade, but it would be punitive for the Cardinals. And it does not appear Arizona will consider it.

While it is too early to call the Steve Keim-era investment a lock to remain with the now-Ossenfort-led Cardinals in the long term, Gannon continues to insist the former No. 1 overall pick is not leaving the desert in 2024.

NFC West Rumors: Murray, Dobbs, Adams

The outcome for the Cardinals‘ 2023 season was pretty much already decided by the time the team finally was able to return quarterback Kyler Murray to the roster. Murray has now missed 18 games over the past three years, and even when he’s been available, Murray has a 5-10 record during the most recent two seasons.

Still, Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing has full confidence in Murray as a franchise quarterback in Arizona, according to Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. Petzing, who worked with Kirk Cousins during his tenure in Minnesota, points towards Murray’s first three years in the NFL, which resulted in an Offensive Rookie of the Year award and two Pro Bowl selections in the years following.

Petzing claims that, if it were up to him, he wouldn’t look at drafting a quarterback in the first round with one of their two Day 1 picks this April. Unfortunately for Petzing, it’s not necessarily up to him. With the recent major injury to Murray and his lack of success since the 2021 season, the rest of the team brass may deem it necessary to bring in a Day 1 passer to expand their options.

Here are a couple of other rumors coming out of the NFC West, starting with another note out of Phoenix:

  • When Arizona traded quarterback Joshua Dobbs to Minnesota along with a seventh-round pick, there were conditions in place that would allow for the Cardinals to get that pick back if Dobbs met certain milestones. Well, according to Howard Balzer of PHNX, despite Dobbs recently being benched in favor of Nick Mullens, the fact that Dobbs started four games for the Vikings will send Arizona’s seventh-round pick back to the Cardinals.
  • In a recent Q&A with Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic, Dugar addressed the possibility of Seattle moving on from former All-Pro safety Jamal Adams after this season. While that seems like a real possibility with massive cap hits of $26.9MM and $27.9MM over the next two years and Adams’ recent drop in quality of play, it wouldn’t benefit the team as much as you might think. Releasing or trading Adams would result is a charge of $20.8MM in dead money for the Seahawks while only saving $6.08MM in cap space. Designating the move as a post-June 1 release would spread the dead money over the 2024 and 2025 seasons and increase the cap savings for 2024 to $16.5MM, but that still holds quite a heavy cost. Dugar believes that Adams may receive the benefit of the doubt, given the organization knows that he’s been limited with a knee injury. The high costs with that benefit of the doubt may be enough to keep Adams in green and navy for a couple more years.

Latest On Cardinals’ Quarterback Plan

Kyler Murray‘s long-awaited return will commence in Week 10. The Cardinals used up Murray’s three-week return-to-practice window, giving the former Pro Bowler effectively a midseason training camp to work in Drew Petzing‘s system. That run-up may be important to how the organization proceeds at quarterback in 2024.

Moving parts exist here, given the Cardinals’ 2024 draft placement at this season’s midpoint. But the Cardinals want to see how Murray functions in their new play-caller’s system before making a determination about the longer-term future,’s Dan Graziano notes.

The Cards are 1-8, but Petzing was able to coax some productive performances from Josh Dobbs, who had arrived just before the season via the Browns trade. Arizona ranks 27th in offensive DVOA, with Clayton Tune‘s disastrous outing in Cleveland making a notable impact on the team’s overall numbers. Exiting their 58-yard offensive showing against the Browns, the Cards rank 31st in passing. Petzing’s system — which came from Kevin Stefanski‘s Browns attack — is seen by some around the league as one that could boost Murray’s stock, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe adds (subscription required). That said, the dual-threat QB the Browns added — Deshaun Watson — has not exactly taken to it during his early run in Ohio.

Murray, 26, has received an extensive buildup period upon returning from his ACL tear. He is nearly 11 months removed from it. Theories about the Cardinals keeping Murray inactive as they determine their future, which could include Drake Maye or Caleb Williams, ended up unfounded. But Murray’s showing stands to impact how the team proceeds next year, regardless of Jonathan Gannon‘s interest in keeping Murray as long as he is the HC.

The Cardinals could be in position to either draft one of the top two QBs or follow in the Bears’ footsteps and auction the pick to accelerate a rebuild that would, in the latter scenario, include Murray as the centerpiece. The Texans have improved to the point it looks unlikely they will land a top-five draft slot for a fourth straight year; Houston traded its 2024 first-rounder to Arizona to move up for Will Anderson in April. It would stand to reason Murray being active will hurt the Cardinals’ chances of securing a top-two pick in the ’24 draft, but the Cardinals’ power structure wants to see the former No. 1 overall pick in this new system to collect more information.

Murray could conceivably restore some of his trade value by staying healthy upon return. But Howe adds that his contract — five years, $230.5MM ($103.3MM fully guaranteed) — is not seen as tradeable. It would cost the Cardinals a record-setting (for now, as Russell Wilson‘s contract remains on the Broncos’ cap sheet) $46MM in dead money if he were traded before June 1. The Cards would owe Murray an $11.9MM guarantee on March 17 — Day 5 of the 2023 league year — if he is still on the roster; that money covers part of his 2025 salary. The year-out guarantee would stand to drive an early trade, but it would be punitive for the Cardinals. And a shortage of teams, Murray’s flashes in the past notwithstanding, would be in line to take on that contract.

Arizona paying part of Murray’s deal could facilitate a better return, but an executive told Howe a Murray release could also be in play — in the event the Cardinals commit to drafting another QB — due to a lack of trade interest. Even in a post-June 1 scenario, the Cardinals would be hit with a $48.3MM dead-money bill in 2024 by cutting the QB they extended in July 2022. A QB-needy team not in position to nab Williams or Maye may also be interested in Murray, though the return would not approach what the Texans received for Watson last year.

The fork-in-the-road moment the Cardinals may soon face will be a storyline to monitor as Murray resumes play. They already dealt Dobbs to clear out a spot, doing so after Gannon had told the media the journeyman would start against the Browns in Week 9. Dobbs took it a step further this week, indicating Gannon informed him he would not be traded.

Went to sleep, woke up Tuesday morning with a text from my agent saying, ‘Hey, you could be traded today because it’s the trade deadline,” Dobbs said on his Torchbearers podcast (via Yardbarker). “When I had the meeting with [Gannon] in Arizona, he looked at me in the face and he said, ‘You’re not being traded. You’re not being released. You’re going to be here in Arizona.”

After Gannon confirmed the Cardinals’ course change on Oct. 30, the team pulled the trigger on the Dobbs trade hours before the Oct. 31 deadline. The Cardinals sent Dobbs and a conditional seventh-round pick to the Vikings for a 2024 sixth-rounder. Dobbs, who made eight starts as a Cardinal, will start again for the Vikings in Week 10. It is not uncommon to see coaches and GMs backtrack on previous claims as trade rumors circulate, and it is also possible Gannon intended to start Dobbs once again but ended up being overruled.

The 28-year-old passer, after replacing a concussed Jaren Hall, piloted the Vikings to an upset win in Atlanta despite barely knowing Kevin O’Connell‘s system. Tune is now positioned as Murray’s backup, but the next two months will provide some answers about Arizona’s post-2023 QB direction.

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray To Start Week 10

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.

Cardinals Activate QB Kyler Murray

Expected to make his return to action in Week 10, Kyler Murray is now officially back on the Cardinals’ 53-man roster. The team used the full three-week practice window but activated Murray just before the deadline.

Murray suffered an ACL tear and meniscus damage in December 2022, and the Cardinals changed regimes during his rehab process. Jonathan Gannon has routinely praised Murray, and with the Cardinals rebuilding, the team has taken a methodical approach to redeploying him. It appears that re-emergence is imminent, however, with Murray all but certain to start against the Falcons in Week 10.

With Murray coming back from the reserve/PUP list, he will not count against the Cardinals’ IR activations. Though, at 1-8, the Cards’ activation number is not exactly a pressing matter. The team gained just 58 total yards against the Browns — the team’s fewest in a game since 1955 — with fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune overmatched against an elite Cleveland pass defense. Murray being on his way back will help Arizona’s offense, though it is worth wondering the team’s overall plans with the dual-threat talent.

After a frisky start, the Cardinals are where most expected them to be: in the running for the No. 1 overall pick. With the Texans looking likely to see their draft slot land outside the top three for the first time since 2020, the Cardinals’ only avenue toward a top-five pick looks to be via their own selection. Murray could impede that path, but Gannon has repeatedly said the fifth-year passer is in this regime’s plans post-2023. If that is the case, seeing Murray develop in OC Drew Petzing‘s offense now would give the Cardinals a good onramp toward the 2024 offseason program.

The Cardinals declared Murray fully healthy last month, which would line up with his rehab timeline. Murray went down Dec. 12, 2022. His return will come 11 months later. That sits behind some recent quarterbacks who recovered from ACL tears, but each injury is different. And, again, it is not like the Cardinals had a playoff spot in mind with regard to Murray’s timetable. Despite speculation of the team drafting a quarterback in 2024, Murray will not be held out for the entire season. This will create an interesting backdrop for the Cardinals, who were in a rebuild when they drafted Murray first overall in 2019.

Arizona’s offense will look a bit different with Murray compared to its 2022 iteration. The team drafted Paris Johnson in April — after rumors Murray was a fan of the Ohio State tackle — and released DeAndre Hopkins in May. Zach Ertz is back on IR, while James Conner is on the injured list as well. Though, Conner is eligible to return this week. The team still has Murray college teammate Marquise Brown on the roster, despite being a perceived seller at the deadline. Brown is in a contract year, but he will finish it in the desert.

Murray, 26, earned original-ballot Pro Bowl nods in 2020 and ’21. He missed time with ankle and hamstring injuries in 2021 and ’22, and although the former MLB top-10 draftee elevated a largely Hopkins-less Cardinals team to the playoffs during his third season, last year brought a significant step back. A woeful playoff performance preceded a bumpy ride toward an extension, one that included (and then didn’t) the oft-discussed homework clause. Friction with Kliff Kingsbury transpired before Murray’s injury, and his numbers dipped after the quality 2020 and ’21 showings. Murray will attempt to begin a bounce-back effort under Gannon and Petzing.

The Cardinals have Tune in place as their backup moving forward, having gone through a complicated QB year. The team has ditched two-year Murray backup Colt McCoy and released David Blough late this summer. Arizona acquired and then traded Josh Dobbs, who resurfaced in a big way in Minnesota in Week 9. Jeff Driskel is back on the team’s practice squad, returning and residing as the team’s de facto third-stringer.

Cardinals To Start Clayton Tune In Week 9

3:05pm: Not only will Murray not start this weekend, he will also not be activated from injured reserve today by the league’s 4:00pm deadline, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. There’s really no need to activate him if the Cardinals feel comfortable moving forward with Tune tomorrow, but with Murray’s 21-day practice window closing in the coming week, the clock is certainly ticking. If Murray isn’t activated this week, he will be forced to spend the remainder of the year on IR.

Backing up Tune tomorrow will be veteran backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, who was re-signed to the practice squad this week. The standard gameday elevation has not yet been announced but is expected with Tune currently standing as the sole quarterback on the active roster.

8:52am: Kyler Murray‘s return won’t come this weekend. Cardinals fifth-round rookie quarterback Clayton Tune is expected to get the start tomorrow against the Browns, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Cardinals traded Murray’s fill-in, Joshua Dobbs, earlier this week, an indication that the former first-overall pick was on the brink of playing. After being sidelined for the first half of the season while recovering from a torn ACL, Murray returned to practice last month, opening his 21-day window to be activated. As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler points out, that activation window closes next week.

The team intended to take their quarterback decision down to the wire, with coach Jonathan Gannon telling reporters that he wanted to see how each of the players looked during Friday’s practice. While Gannon acknowledged that Murray has been pushing to return, the Cardinals wanted this to be an organizational decision. Per ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, the decision makers included Murray, Gannon, general manager Monti Ossenfort, and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, with owner Michael Bidwill also being kept in the loop.

“[Murray’s] told me he is ready — and I’m not even going to tell you when he told me he is ready — but he knows he needs to do certain things and keep stacking good days and keep getting reps and playing the position to be ready to play,” Gannon said yesterday (via Weinfuss).

While Murray continues to recover, the Cardinals will temporarily turn to Tune, a fifth-round pick out of Houston. The prospect put himself on the NFL map during the 2021 and 2022 seasons, tossing a combined 7o touchdowns vs. 20 interceptions. Dobbs played all of the snaps at QB for the Cardinals this season, although Tune did complete a single four-yard pass on a fake punt.

As ESPN’s Field Yates notes, Tune will be one of many QB changes in Week 9, with the Cardinals joining the Raiders (Aidan O’Connell), Vikings (Jaren Hall), Falcons (Taylor Heinicke), Giants (Daniel Jones), and Browns (Deshaun Watson) among the teams replacing their Week 8 starters. Further, Tune will become the ninth rookie QB to start a game this season; as Schefter notes, this already ties the full-season record for rookie starts.

Cardinals To Bench Josh Dobbs; Kyler Murray Week 9 Return In Play

The Cardinals may end up starting at least three quarterbacks for a second straight season, but Kyler Murray‘s extended onramp complicates matters for the NFC West team. One issue will be resolved following Week 8; the Cardinals are set to bench Josh Dobbs.

Jonathan Gannon said Monday the Cardinals will bench Dobbs for their Week 9 matchup against the Browns, with Clayton Tune now in the picture to start. That said, Gannon has not ruled out Murray returning Sunday, Darren Urban of tweets. Following the Cards’ Week 8 loss to the Ravens, Gannon said Dobbs would receive another start. But after meeting with the three QBs Monday morning, the rookie HC has changed his mind. It will be either a Tune cameo or Murray’s long-awaited return against the Browns.

[RELATED: Cardinals Not Shopping Kyler Murray]

While Murray is clearly close,’s Ian Rapoport reports Tune is likely to receive the call for the Cards’ Cleveland trip. With the Browns ranking first in pass defense, this promises to be a difficult spot for the fifth-round rookie. But the Cardinals are in a clear rebuild, having never been expected to vie for a playoff spot this season. Tune will receive an early audition for the presumptive role of Murray’s long-term backup.

Murray has until Nov. 8 to be activated, but after deeming the two-time Pro Bowler fully healthy, Gannon (via’s Mike Garafolo) has seen the fifth-year passer resemble his pre-injury version in practice. If the Cardinals are moving Dobbs out of the picture, a Murray activation could be imminent. Murray has not played since Week 14 of last season, when he suffered ACL and meniscus injuries. The Cardinals have given the dual-threat talent an extended runup to his fifth season — and first under Gannon and OC Drew Petzing.

Had the Cardinals profiled as a contending team coming into the season, Murray likely would have debuted already. But they are in a rebuild and sitting 1-7. Murray patience has made sense through this lens, and Rapoport adds a Week 10 return is the more likely scenario.

The Cardinals took Tune at No. 139 this year, drafting the ex-Houston Cougar as part of a Day 2 trade with the Lions. As Detroit moved back into Round 3 for defensive tackle Brodric Martin, Arizona continued to stockpile picks. The team had already traded back in Rounds 1 and 2, allowing the Texans and Titans respective access to Will Anderson and Will Levis. Months before Dobbs arrived via trade, Tune came to the desert as part of what was then a crowded depth chart. But Colt McCoy, David Blough and Jeff Driskel are no longer with the Cardinals. Tune has operated as Dobbs’ backup throughout this season.

Tune boasted an impressive stat line in 2022, throwing 40 touchdown passes and just 10 interceptions at the then-American Athletic Conference school. Over his final two years with the Cougars, Tune posted a 70-20 TD-INT ratio and averaged at least 8.8 yards per attempt in each slate. Tune should be expected to give way to Murray soon, but this will present an early opportunity. Should Murray return as the starter in Week 10, the Cards will have started seven QBs from 2022-23. McCoy, Blough and Trace McSorley started games last season.

Cardinals Not Shopping QB Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray is more than 10 months removed from the ACL tear that ended his 2022 season, and the Cardinals have deemed the former No. 1 overall pick fully healthy. But Joshua Dobbs has been assured he will start in Week 9, either leaving Murray on the reserve/PUP list or putting the two-time Pro Bowler in an unusual role as an active-roster backup.

It would seem likely the Cards will leave Murray on the PUP list, as he does not need to be activated until Nov. 8. Speculation has emerged about a potential trade, seeing as Arizona has a new regime in place that has signed off on a rebuild. Though, Jonathan Gannon has repeatedly said Murray is part of the team’s future.

That does not appear to have changed, despite the talented quarterback’s status as a healthy player who will not play in Week 9. The Cardinals are not shopping Murray, per The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, who adds the team expects Murray to suit up in the next few weeks. While a recent report placed Nov. 5 as a potential return window, Murray’s return date will now be pushed back to at least Week 10.

Murray having signed a five-year, $230.5MM extension last summer undoubtedly affects his trade value, though Russini notes there are teams that could be interested in acquiring the fifth-year veteran. Coming off an ACL tear and meniscus damage, however, Murray has certainly held higher trade value compared to where it would be today. While speculation about the Cardinals drafting a quarterback — particularly if they land the 2024 No. 1 pick — may continue, Murray remains in the Gannon-Monti Ossenfort duo’s plans.

Midseason has loomed as the latest point in which a Murray return would commence. That said, the Cardinals — repeated competitiveness notwithstanding — have plunged into expected territory. Arizona is 1-7. That currently sits as the NFL’s worst record, with the Panthers having won in Week 8 to move to 1-6. We are still a bit away from draft-slot projections mattering too much, but the Caleb Williams rumors stand to intensify if this Cardinals trajectory persists. Murray departure rumors would gain steam in that event, so when exactly the team redeploys its four-year starter will be worth monitoring.

The Vikings losing Kirk Cousins for the season could conceivably make them an interested party, though the Jets — after Aaron Rodgers went down four plays into his Gang Green run — stood down and proceeded with an internal solution. Murray, 26, is also coming off a down year — one that helped lead to Kliff Kingsbury‘s firing. But he also stacked Pro Bowl invites on top of each other from 2020-21.

The Cardinals have given him an extended onramp in new OC Drew Petzing‘s system, but it will also be interesting to see if the team trades away more pieces at this week’s deadline, thus putting Murray in position to return with a worse nucleus around him. A few key variables exist here, but for now, Arizona’s plan still looks to be bringing the Steve Keim-era investment back this season.

QB Notes: Taylor, Cardinals, Bucs, Ridder

Tyrod Taylor left Sunday’s game with a rib injury and needed to be hospitalized. The Giants announced they are keeping their backup-turned-starter in the hospital overnight for observation on his ribcage ailment. Taylor has a history of rib trouble, of course, as just more than three years have passed since the rib injection that ended his brief run as the Chargers’ starter. The pregame shot before Week 2 of the 2020 season resulted in a punctured lung. During Taylor’s one-season stint as the Texans’ starter, he missed a third of the season due to a hamstring malady. The journeyman came back as a backup, with Houston giving Davis Mills a shot to close that season.

Taylor almost certainly will be welcomed back as the Giants’ starter when he is ready, as the team pivoted to nearly run-only blueprint with practice squad elevation Tommy DeVito under center. Daniel Jones is not expected to be back until Week 10, as he continues to battle a neck injury. The latest coming out of that situation points to the well-paid starter dealing with a disk issue and weakness in his nonthrowing shoulder.

Here is the latest from the QB ranks:

  • The Cardinals have joined the Giants in playing a backup this season, and while they have pronounced Kyler Murray fully healthy after his December 2022 ACL tear, the team will once again hold out the Pro Bowler. Jonathan Gannon announced postgame Joshua Dobbs will start in Week 9. Murray remains on Arizona’s reserve/PUP list, having been designated for return on Oct. 18. The Cardinals do not have to activate him until Nov. 8, giving them one more game to keep Murray off the roster. Early reports indicated an early-season return would be in play for Murray, and Michael Bidwill doubled down on that in April. But the organization has proceeded cautiously with the former No. 1 pick, who has also needed to learn a new offense. It will be interesting to see if the sinking Cardinals redeploy Murray as their starter immediately upon activating him.
  • Baker Mayfield did not escape Thursday’s loss in Buffalo unscathed, with’s Jeremy Fowler noting the free agent pickup is dealing with a knee contusion. Mayfield is planning to play through this injury, but it has caused him discomfort. The Buccaneers QB’s MRI did not reveal any structural damage, however.
  • While Kenny Pickett was initially expected to return to Sunday’s Steelers-Jaguars matchup following his rib injury, via’s Brooke Pryor, the Steelers ruled out their starter and kept Mitch Trubisky in the game. Pickett left the game before the half but was warming up to come back; instead, the team shut him down. Benched early during his first Steelers season, Trubisky became needed on multiple occasions due to Pickett’s two-concussion rookie year. It is not yet known how much time (if any) the 2022 first-rounder will miss as a result of his latest injury.
  • Desmond Ridder‘s midgame exit did not stem from performance issues, Arthur Smith said (via’s Ian Rapoport). Ridder was evaluated for a concussion, but while he was cleared of a head injury, Smith said he “didn’t think Des was right” following the exit. The Falcons kept Taylor Heinicke in the game as a result. Heinicke logged one of the most active QB2 seasons in NFL history two years ago, replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 1 and keeping the Washington reins the rest of the way. The Falcons gave the multiyear Washington starter a two-year, $14MM deal this offseason. Ridder has delivered an uneven season thus far, but the Falcons passed on chances to acquire a starter-caliber QB in order to keep him in place. With the team proclaiming Ridder the starter in March, it does not appear he is in danger of being pulled.

QB Notes: Purdy, Murray, Colts, Love, Howell

Brock Purdy‘s sensational start to his career doubles as a win for the 49ers‘ scouting department. Had the team not used the 2022 draft’s final selection on the Iowa State quarterback, it would have needed to fend off multiple other clubs in the UDFA chase. The Vikings were prepared to make an aggressive pursuit of Purdy in the post-draft signing period, Kevin Seifert of notes. Purdy said he was considering the Vikings, 49ers or Texans if he went undrafted.

Minnesota does not have a Kirk Cousins heir apparent lined up, though it did draft Jaren Hall this year, and has its longtime starter in a contract year. The Vikings also use a somewhat similar scheme compared to the 49ers, with the Sean McVayKyle Shanahan offenses derived from the Mike ShanahanGary Kubiak system. Purdy landing with Houston probably would not have been optimal, given the state of the organization at that point. Though, the Texans — who used Davis Mills and Kyle Allen as starters last year — would have presented by far the best chance for early playing time. Purdy’s seventh-round 49ers deal runs through 2025.

Here is the latest from the QB scene:

  • Kyler Murray is not yet on the Cardinals‘ active roster, being designated for return off the PUP list last week. But the Cardinals took Murray off their injury report Thursday. While that opened the door to a possible Saturday activation for Week 8, the team lists the two-time Pro Bowler as doubtful for the Ravens matchup. Jonathan Gannon has said the Cards have a ramp-up period in mind for Murray, who is 10 1/2 months removed from his ACL tear. Week 9 or Week 10 have surfaced as windows for Murray’s re-emergence. Though Murray must be activated by Nov. 8 in order to play this season, it will be interesting to see if the Cardinals start him immediately once he is activated or extend the final stretch of his recovery via more Joshua Dobbs starts.
  • Anthony Richardson is not expected to require a second surgery to repair his AC joint injury. The Colts quarterback underwent surgery this week, and Jim Irsay said no new issues emerged during the procedure. Dr. Neil ElAttrache performed the surgery in Los Angeles, per’s Stephen Holder. No timetable exists for Richardson’s return, per Irsay, but given the October operation, he should be ready for offseason work.
  • Aaron Rodgers‘ first Packers season resulted in a 6-10 record, marking a significant step back after Brett Favre guided them to the 2007 NFC championship game. Rodgers finished 11th in QBR in 2008, which preceded an eight-year streak of Packer playoff berths. Through six games, Jordan Love sits 17th in QBR but ranks last among qualified starters in completion percentage (57.5). Green Bay has been outscored 63-6 over its past four first halves. After the Packers saw considerable strides from Love in 2022, leading to the Rodgers divorce, Matt LaFleur indicated (via’s Rob Demovsky) the team’s confidence in the fourth-year QB is “not wavering one bit.” Love, who signed a half-measure extension this offseason to take the place of a fifth-year option, will almost definitely have this full season to prove himself. Barring a lackluster second half, should go into the offseason as the Packers’ 2024 starter.
  • Ron Rivera was a bit less emphatic when assessing Sam Howell‘s status. The fourth-year Washington HC said (via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala) he is committed to the 2022 fifth-round pick, but he “can’t predict the future.” Howell has shown flashes; he is also on pace to break the single-season record for sacks taken. David Carr‘s rookie year, with the expansion Texans, currently resides atop that list (76). Howell’s 40 through seven games lead the NFL by 12. Howell sits 25th in QBR. With Rivera’s job far less secure than LaFleur’s, it would not surprise if Jacoby Brissett saw time at some point. Though, the Commanders passed on pursuing upgrades this offseason out of a commitment to Howell, creating the perception of a long leash.