The Arizona Cardinals could have Kyler Murray back on the field in the near future. On Wednesday, head coach Jonathan Gannon announced that the Cardinals have opened the 21-day practice window for Murray, who remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after tearing his ACL in December.
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Kyler Murray Injury Update
Gannon also indicated that Murray will practice with the Cardinals on Wednesday. Murray is expected to be a “full go,” per Gannon.
Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean the 26-year-old will be ready for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Arizona has three weeks to activate Murray to its active roster. If the club fails to do so, Murray will have to remain on the PUP list for the rest of the season.
Murray appears on track to play again this season unless he suffers a setback. Still, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport suggested today’s transaction was “the first step in a slow process to ramp” Murray up, adding that the Cardinals “will be smart with his return.”
Arizona has started the season with a 1-5 record. While there have been some thought that the Cardinals could shut Murray down if they weren’t in contention by the time he was ready to return, it doesn’t look like that will be the case.
Gannon has repeatedly included Murray when discussing Arizona’s future. But if the Cardinals end up with a first-round pick near the top of the 2024 draft, they could conceivably trade Murray and select a rookie quarterback.
Joshua Dobbs, who ranks a respectable 18th in QBR and helped lead Arizona to a Week 3 win over the Dallas Cowboys, will continue starting until Murray is ready to play.
Murray wasn’t the only Cardinal to return to practice on Wednesday. Arizona also designated safety Budda Baker — who went down with a hamstring injury in Week 1 — to return from injured reserve.
Fantasy Fallout From Murray’s Return
With Murray’s window being opened, fantasy managers are hoping he can swoop in and save their team. Is that wise?
Coming off of an ACL, it’s perfectly reasonable to think Murray’s rushing production could be limited in a significant way this season — and if that’s the case, Murray isn’t a fantasy asset in 2023.
Last season, in 11 games, Murray set career-low marks in QBR, yards per pass, and touchdown rate — not ideal from an offense that was more talented than the version the Cardinals are currently running out there.
In the short term, Arizona faces the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns, two excellent defenses. Over the final month of the regular season, when fantasy leagues are decided, Murray and the Cardinals will get a bye week, the San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears, and the Philadelphia Eagles.
If you want to spend a waiver claim on Murray as a flier, go for it. That said, you need to have reasonable expectations. Murray is unlikely to return the peak value you’re wish-casting upon him.
— PFN Fantasy Analyst Kyle Soppe