Cardinals’ Kyler Murray talks 2020 shoulder injury, quarterback idols
Though he made leaps as a pocket-passing quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, Kyler Murray’s 2020 season evolved around his legs.
Murray rushed at least 10 times and for 61 or more yards in each game during a four-week stretch from Weeks 6-10.
Then his aggression on the ground, or the play-calling for Arizona, dropped off a cliff from Weeks 11-13.
Murray rushed only five times in each game over that span and never exceeded 31 rushing yards. Meanwhile, Arizona lost three straight.
The shift appeared to correlate with a shoulder injury Murray suffered early on in a Week 11 loss against the Seattle Seahawks. During the season, Murray dismissed that his lack of rushing was anything but making the correct reads as defenses bottled him up.
“I don’t think it affected me as much as people think it did,” Murray said when he joined Pro Football Talk Live on Tuesday.
Murray maintains that his injury did not impact him but also indicated that it initially had been suffered two weeks before that Seattle game.
“I saw around social media and stuff people saying shoulder’s affecting him, stuff like that. It happened against the Dolphins (Week 9),” Murray said. “I don’t know if you saw, I ran into a dude … that started it off. Then the Seahawks game (in Week 11), I landed on it first drive. That’s when it kind of really started.
“I wanted to stay in the game for my guys against the Seahawks so I wasn’t running around as much, taking hits. I think that affected it, but after that game, I was fine. Obviously had to play through it a little bit. You take hits here and there, you keep playing.”
Keeping an eye on the greats
Unsurprisingly, Murray studied Michael Vick growing up.
These days, the second-year pro studies two of the aging greats: the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady.
“I love watching (Rodgers),” Murray said on PFT Live. “It’s unfortunate they lost but I just think … the way he moves. Really everything. I’ll watch every snap and I’m really just watching him. When good things happen, when bad things happen, how he reacts, how he responds, all that stuff.”
“Growing up, Michael Vick, obviously, he was the guy that I watched the most. Right now, Aaron Rodgers. Obviously, I play in a division with Russell (Wilson), being kind of the same stature as me. And Tom Brady. (I watch) the way they move, the way they go about their business … I’m just trying to take it all in.”
Murray also has admiration for NFC West newcomer Matt Stafford, whom the Los Angeles Rams acquired from the Detroit Lions in a trade this past week.
“Me personally, I love Matt Stafford,” Murray said. “I think he’s one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the league. I love watching him, I love the way he plays.
“He’s a gunslinger. If you watch the game, you know he can make any throw on the field and make it look easy. I don’t now if I’m too excited about (the trade), but I love to compete.”