Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (knee) not expected to be ready for start of 2023 season
The Arizona Cardinals will enter the 2023 season with a new general manager and head coach, but the greatest unknown in the organization is the status of Kyler Murray.
A month and a half since suffering a season-ending torn ACL and meniscus, Murray’s timeline for return is unclear, though the star quarterback is not expected back for the start of the campaign in September, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday on NFL GameDay Morning.
In fact, Murray could miss half of next season.
“My understanding is he is going to take his time and make sure this thing is 100 percent right,” Rapoport reported. “He is young. He’s got a long career. He’s not going to rush, so do not be surprised if we don’t see him to start the season or maybe even by the midway point. This injury has to heal perfectly.”
Murray suffered the injury on Dec. 13, 13 games into a lost campaign in the desert. The Cardinals were 4-8 at the time and finished 4-13, losers of seven in a row to close the season and starting the likes of Colt McCoy, Trace McSorley and David Blough under center with Murray sidelined. As a result of Arizona’s awful finish, coach Kliff Kingsbury was fired and general manager Steve Keim stepped down, leaving a sizable leadership void across the board in Arizona.
The Cardinals have since hired former Tennessee Titans executive Monti Ossenfort as their general manager and have interviewed eight head coaching candidates. A major topic in said interviews, Rapoport reported, has been the health and status of Murray.
A former No. 1 overall selection, Murray signed a five-year, $230.5 million extension during the 2022 offseason. Of the Kyler-Kingsbury-Keim troika, all of whom signed mega-deals last year, the QB is the only one who remains with the club.
Murray’s first season under the contract was underwhelming to say the least, even before the injury. The former Offensive Rookie of the Year averaged a career-low 215.3 passing yards per game, 6.1 yards per attempt and 87.2 passer rating.
Behind Murray on the depth chart heading into 2023 remains McCoy, a journeyman backup who will be 37 years old and going into his 13th season by September. McCoy saw action in four games in 2022, completing 68.2 percent of his passes for 780 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions.
If Murray is to miss extended time, Ossenfort and the Cardinals could invest in a backup QB this offseason who can give them a fighting chance amid their rebuild. There will be plenty of options from which to pick.
There are still major decisions to make in Arizona, starting with who will be Murray and Co.’s head coach going forward; according to owner Michael Bidwill, Murray could even provide input on the hire. But equally as important is determining how to proceed at quarterback, especially if K1 is KO’d for half of the season.