With the hiring of Jonathan Gannon as head coach in the fold, the No. 1 concern for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason is quarterback Kyler Murray‘s health.
Murray — who missed two games earlier in the 2022 NFL season due to a hamstring injury — suffered a torn ACL in Week 14 against the New England Patriots, ending his season. This comes after Murray missed three games in 2021 due to an ankle injury.
On Thursday, the Cardinals new head coach provided a positive update on Murray’s rehab.
“He wanted to play me one-on-one the other day, so I don’t know, I guess he’s doing pretty good — and I will beat him in one-on-one,” Gannon joked about Murray. “No, he’s doing great. I get some updates. He’s doing what he needs to do and right on schedule.
[Can new Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon get the most out of Kyler Murray?]
“And little quick fact here — I’m probably airing his dirty laundry a little bit — on Tuesday I think I walked out of the building at nine something, and he was in there rehabbing. And the only reason I knew he was in there rehabbing cause I went another way and I saw this nice car sitting next to mine, and I was like ‘whose car is that right now’ and went back in the building, and it was him.”
Gannon added: “He’s been very eager to attack his rehab the way he needs to attack it to get back and being him.”
Furthermore, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill expressed confidence that Murray could return near the beginning of the 2023 season on the latest edition of “The Dave Pasch Podcast.”
“I think [his return] is going to be earlier than this midseason, so hopefully it’s toward the beginning of the season, but I don’t want to put any specific dates,” Bidwill said. “There could be setbacks, the progress could slow. But he’s a young man, it looks like he is a fast healer, things are going well. Let’s hope that keeps going the way it is.”
Arizona has a murky quarterback depth chart, as both Murray (knee) and veteran Colt McCoy (head/neck) are rehabbing from their respective injuries. Meanwhile, quarterbacks Trace McSorley (unrestricted) and David Blough (restricted) — who each started for the Cardinals last season — are both free agents this offseason.
Prior to the injury, Murray totaled 2,368 passing yards, 14 passing touchdowns, seven interceptions and an 87.2 passer rating while completing 66.4% of his passes. He also rushed for 418 yards and three touchdowns. Arizona is looking to bounce back from a 4-13 season, which has them selecting third in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Gannon, of course, comes to Arizona after spending the last two seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator. When Murray returns, Gannon has his starting quarterback in place for the foreseeable future, as the soon-to-be fifth-year player signed a five-year, $230.5 million extension with the Cardinals last summer.
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