Cardinals’ Kyler Murray officially named starting quarterback vs. Falcons
Nov 10, 2023, 10:22 AM
TEMPE — If there was any murkiness surrounding Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray making his 2023 debut against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, head coach Jonathan Gannon erased any doubt Friday.
“Kyler’s going to start,” Gannon said ahead of practice.
“I’m excited for the guy,” the head coach added. “I’ve seen what he’s had to go through the last eight months or so — however long I’ve been here — and what he’s put into it and how bad he wants to be out there and the competitor that he is. He wants to be out there with the guys and help his team win. That’s what I’m most excited to see.”
Murray’s return to action will come 11 months to the day since he torn his ACL in a home loss to the New England Patriots last December. Including that defeat in Week 14 of the 2022 regular season, Arizona has gone 1-13 without Murray at the helm.
James Conner back, too?
With Murray’s status out of the way, the attention now turns to starting running back James Conner.
And while Gannon stopped short of announcing Conner’s officially back, the head coach has liked what he’s seen out of the running back since his return to practice.
“We’ll see how he does (Friday), but trending in the right direction.”
Conner’s impact cannot be understated.
Despite being placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury suffered in Week 5, Conner still paces Arizona in rushing attempts (68) and yards (364). He’s second behind now-traded Joshua Dobbs (three) in touchdowns (two).
#AZCardinals RB James Conner showed off his hands working with QB Kyler Murray during the open portion of practice on Thursday.
Marco Wilson and Cameron Thomas were back practicing.
D.J. Humphries, Will Hernandez and Ezekiel Turner were working off to the side. pic.twitter.com/WWnDbkdC9O
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) November 9, 2023
Since his departure, the run game and offense as a whole has taken multiple steps backwards.
“He’s our workhorse in the run game, so it’ll be good to get him back and it helps not only Kyler, it helps our team,” Gannon said.