The Arizona Cardinals should be in no hurry to bring star quarterback Kyler Murray back into the lineup. Murray, who tore his ACL nearly eight months ago, is understandably looking to get back onto the field as soon as he can, but rushing his return would be nothing short of reckless.
This isn’t a make-or-break season for the Cardinals, and while many want to believe that’s the case with Murray, it probably isn’t. Murray’s contract and the overall state of the Cardinals in 2023 could indicate that 2024 will be the true make-it-or-break-it season for what would be the sixth-year quarterback.
The only way the Cardinals would move on from Murray following 2023 would be if he returns and plays like a fringe backup quarterback, and if such play landed the Redbirds the first overall pick. At that point, Arizona would look to move on (hopefully with Drake Maye), but given the overall youth and roster overhaul the new regime brought, this will also be a transition year for Murray.
Kyler Murray will see playing time with the Arizona Cardinals
Whether Murray reaches his goal of returning for Week 1 or at least sooner than expected, he will see more than enough playing time this season to get in-game reps in head coach Jonathan Gannon’s and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing’s new system. With the team taking the cautious approach with Murray, he will also bring the best version of himself forward. This will also give the fifth-year quarterback a fighting chance to win back some in the fanbase who have given up on him.
For those who still believe Murray can ‘the guy’ for 2024 and beyond, he will be worth waiting for. Rushing his return would cause not only potential setbacks, but also stagnation, and it’s something neither he nor a young Arizona Cardinals team needs in 2023.
Returning at the right time would also be a massive confidence booster for Murray and the Cardinals offense, which struggled in 2022. And if they can string together only a few wins in 2023 along with respectable performances week in and week out regardless of the final score, then feel free to become a Kyler Murray optimist once again.
Source: Kyler Murray Starts Training Camp On PUP List As Expected by Darren Urban, AZ Cardinals