CARDINALS CORNER

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray in reset mode after successful ACL surgery

Jan 4, 2023, 3:22 PM | Updated: 3:37 pm

Kyler Murray at practice...

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals got some good news regarding starting quarterback Kyler Murray and his current journey back from a torn ACL.

Not long after Kliff Kingsbury said the surgery on Tuesday to repair Murray’s ACL and meniscus was a success, the signal caller posted a picture of himself smiling from his hospital bed post-surgery.

With one big hurdle now out of the way, it’s onto the next chapter in Murray’s road to recovery.

“He’s never been through this, obviously, but he’s excited,” Kingsbury said Wednesday. “It can kind of be a reset for him. We know we had our struggles this year offensively and we feel like we can play at a much higher level.

“I think he understands he can build himself back better and attack this thing and I think that’s how he’s viewing it. It’s kind of a reset and where he takes it now is kind of what’s going to define his career.”

After seeing improvement year after year, especially from a passing percentage standpoint, Murray’s fourth NFL season was one to forget for the signal caller.

Seeing his season cut short to just 11 games played, Murray finished with 2,368 passing yards and 14 touchdowns to seven interceptions behind a 66.4% completion rate. He posted a career low 51.7 QBR. The QB also added 418 yards and three scores on 67 carries in the ground game, all down marks.

But even with the successful surgery, the unknown remains as to when Murray will be back leading the offense.

Reports have since circulated regarding Murray’s timetable for return, with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reporting the timeline for recovery was projected at nine months shortly after the injury, while ESPN’s Adam Schefter said six to eight months for the QB.

Going off that timing, the earliest Murray could potentially be back would be around July. Based off last year’s NFL schedule, training camp will likely be kicking off or very close to it.

At nine months, however, Murray’s recovery is into September. The first game of the regular season is slated for Sept. 8. If the recovery timeline lines up with Schefter’s reporting, it’s realistic to assume Murray won’t be ready come Week 1.

While the focus this week is on their Week 18 opponents in the San Francisco 49ers, the Cardinals’ current situation at QB has Arizona also eyeing the future.

With Murray’s return date up in the air, the Cardinals opted to shut down backup option Colt McCoy knowing they will likely need his services at the beginning of next season.

Instead of McCoy getting the starting nod in the season finale, it’ll be David Blough for a second-straight week.

“We need (McCoy) next year, particularly with the situation we have currently there with Kyler,” Kingsbury said, who also included it was the right move to make with the future in mind. “We’ll let David have at it and see how it goes.”

“It was tough (to shut McCoy down),” the head coach added. “He wanted to play and it’s just in our situation with … the impending (probability of) not having Kyler to start the year, it’s the right thing to do.”

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