Arizona Cardinals remaining cautious with QB Kyler Murray ahead of bye

Nov 15, 2021, 3:20 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2021, 9:34 am

Injured Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray walks off the field after an NFL football game a...

Injured Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. The Panthers won 34-10. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

The Arizona Cardinals have navigated the last two games without starting quarterback Kyler Murray, who continues to heal up from a left ankle sprain suffered in Week 9.

And while he’s still progressing, his status for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks remains murky.

“We want to make sure this year he can feel as good as possible. We have the bye coming up (Week 12) and hopefully it gives us all the time to rest and recover and hit that home stretch as full go as possible,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday.

“But if he can play Sunday, I know he’s champing at the bit to get back out there, but we gotta be smart with him as well.”

With Murray sidelined, Arizona has played .500 ball through two games, but suffered its worst loss of the season on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Backup Colt McCoy threw for just 107 yards and an interception in the loss. He wouldn’t finish the game, either, exiting with what would later be diagnosed as a pectoral strain. Kingsbury considers McCoy day to day.

Murray’s absence was surely felt on Sunday. Still, Kingsbury and the Cardinals aren’t about to rush their star QB back out on the field. Especially with the bye week rolling around following the Seattle game.

“He wants to be back out there, but collectively, we’re all trying to come to the best place with it, whether it’s this Sunday or the bye,” Kingsbury said. “We’re ultimately gonna do what’s best for Kyler and the Cardinals and go from there. It’s gonna be close. I’m not sure if he’ll be able to go and play his game or not, but I’m hopeful.”

As for two of the linemen tasked with protecting Murray or McCoy, Justin Pugh and Max Garcia, their status updates sound much more optimistic.

“They do” have a chance to play against the Seahawks, Kingsbury said. “Both guys progressed nicely last week and I’m hoping we can at least have one of them back by Sunday.”

Pugh and Garcia missed Sunday’s action with a calf and an Achilles injury, respectively. In their places were Sean Harlow and Josh Jones.

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