Kliff Kingsbury Expects Game-Time Decision on Cardinals QB Kyler Murray

Getty Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray prepares to pass against the Green Bay Packers on October 28.

Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said a decision about whether Kyler Murray plays Sunday, November 7, likely will based on how the quarterback’s ankle feels that morning.

Kingsbury said the QB is still “progressing” through the injury, “and we’ll see how the week goes.”

“We have a really good medical staff and training staff that are putting him through the ringer and trying to get him ready,” he said.

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Despite not practicing with the team Wednesday, November 3, Murray met with reporters to talk about his recovery and the timeline for his return.

“It’s good,” he said when asked about his ankle. “(I’m) just taking it one day at a time and seeing where it goes.”

Murray injured his ankle late in the Cardinals’ 24-21 home loss to the Green Bay Packers on October 28. Kingsbury, who described Murray’s injury as being “day-to-day,” said the QB could play against the San Francisco 49ers even if he doesn’t practice all week.

“He’s the type of player, with his ability, his understanding of the system now, as long as he’s getting the mental reps, we feel good about him going out there and executing,” he said.

Murray agreed: “I think I’d be good to go Sunday if I just know the game plan and get the mental reps.”

The extra time off following the Thursday night game against the Packers was “definitely helpful” with his recovery, he said.

Murray came up limping after being tackled by Packers safety Darnell Savage with about a minute left in the game against the Packers. Two plays later, the Cardinals QB threw his second interception of the game when receiver A.J. Green didn’t turn around for the ball.

Fox’s Jay Glazer later reported that Murray had suffered an ankle sprain and could miss miss up to three weeks.

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Kingsbury: Murray ‘Wants to Play’

If Murray is not able to play against the 49ers, Kingsbury said the conversation with his QB about sitting out likely would be “not good for me.”

“He’s a competitor, wants to be out there, wants to play,” he said. “So he’ll want to be out there with his teammates for sure.”

As difficult as that chat may be, Kingsbury said the Cardinals want to make sure playing against the 49ers doesn’t make matters worse for Murray.

“There’s a fine line you walk there,” Kingsbury said. “(It’s) a 17-game season; you’ve got to be smart. We’ve got some big games coming up. So we’ll do what’s best for the organization and do what’s best for him.”

Murray has not missed a game in his three-year NFL career. If he’s ruled out, Colt McCoy would make his first start with the Cardinals. McCoy signed a one-year deal with Arizona in March after playing the 2020 season with the New York Giants.

The former University of Texas star started for the Giants in Week 15 last season and completed 19 of 31 passes for 221 yards in a 20-6 home loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Murray Named to Athletic’s Midseason All-Pro Team

Murray’s strong start to the 2021 season earned him a spot on The Athletic’s Midseason All-Pro Team, topping a position that is “flat-out loaded right now,” according to Sheil Kapadia.

“If we were going purely based on statistics, Matthew Stafford would be the pick,” Kapadia writes. “And you could easily make a case for Dak Prescott, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen, among others.”

So why Murray? Kapadia explains:

But Murray gets the nod because the Cardinals are 7-1, and he’s had to put the team on his back for stretches at a time. When the offensive scheme or specific play calls aren’t working, he’s consistently found answers — whether that means carving teams up from the pocket or breaking opponents’ backs by improvising and finding receivers downfield.

Kapadia also notes Murray’s 72.7 completion percentage and his 8.9 yards per attempt average.

“To put those numbers into context, no quarterback in NFL history has reached both those marks in a single season,” he wrote.

Kapadia also addressed Murray’s ankle injury, noting that “the Cardinals’ 2020 season went sideways after he got banged up.”

“But through the first eight weeks, he’s been the most impressive quarterback.”

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