Cardinals designate QB Kyler Murray, S Budda Baker to return from injured lists

Oct 18, 2023, 10:02 AM | Updated: 10:34 am

Quarterback Kyler Murray took a big step in his return from a torn ACL when the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday designated him to return from the physically unable to perform list, coach Jonathan Gannon announced.

Gannon also said fellow captain Budda Baker’s 21-day window was opening and he would be on the field Wednesday.

The Cardinals announced the moves as well as the cut of running back Tony Jones Jr.

Murray confirmed that news with a post to X.

“He told me, ‘I’m practicing today,'” Gannon said of Murray. “I said, ‘Great. See you out there.'”

The head coach added Murray will be “full go” at practice.

With the designation, the Cardinals have 21 days to activate Murray (knee) off the PUP list and Baker (hamstring) off the injured reserve. They can do so at any time.

The return to the practice field marks 10 months since Murray went down with a torn ACL in a Week 14 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.

Before the injury, Murray had completed 66.4% of his passes for 2,368 yards and 14 touchdowns to seven interceptions across 11 games played. He also ran 67 times for 418 yards and three touchdowns.

He underwent surgery on Jan. 3 — performed by Dallas Cowboys team doctor Dan Cooper — and has been rehabbing ever since.

Throughout Murray’s recovery, Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort have shied away from giving any sort of timeline outside of saying the signal caller would return to action as soon as he was “physically and mentally ready.”

Now practicing, the next steps in Murray’s path back are racking up as many reps as he can in a new offense while also getting back into game shape.

“He hasn’t taken a snap in this offense,” Gannon said. “We got to see him do a lot of things, but I know he’s excited to get out there and start playing some football.”

Murray and Baker are able to return to practice as Arizona is 1-5 on the year and coming off three straight losses of 14 points or more that included a touchdown-less effort against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6.

It’s been especially rough for current starting quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who had taken noticeable steps forward but has since hit a wall.

After completing at least 67% of his throws across the first four games, the quarterback has a 49.3% completion rate in the past two matchups combined. Dobbs has thrown for 1,215 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions, while rushing 34 times for 189 yards.

Baker played in Week 1 but was inactive with a hamstring issue in Week 2, a loss to the New York Giants.

By the injured reserve guidelines, the safety had to miss at least four games against the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams before potentially being able to return for this Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Arizona has since lost fellow starting safety Jalen Thompson, who appeared in the first five games but sat out beginning in the Week 6 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Against Los Angeles, safeties K’Von Wallace and Andre Chachere played 100% of the defensive snaps, while special teamer Joey Blount earned 10 defensive snaps.

The Cardinals had used Wallace as a third safety heavily in Week 1, the only game with a healthy starting duo. Wallace played 50 snaps alongside Baker and Thompson in the season opener.

Baker, who had a contractual dispute with the team during the offseason, ultimately came to an agreement with the Cardinals and appeared to be bought in to leading the defensive unit this season.

He is coming off a 111-tackle season with two interceptions and seven pass deflections last year with Arizona.

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