The 2022 NFL season has been one to forget for Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. While the six-game suspension given to DeAndre Hopkins last offseason didn’t do Arizona any favors, even since his return, the Cardinals’ offense has struggled mightily this season.
To make matters even worse, Murray will now start his road to recovery after suffering from a non-contact injury in his left knee on the third play of Arizona’s Week 14 27-13 loss to the New England Patriots. What does this mean for the Cardinals’ future in 2023, and how long is Murray out?
How Long Will Kyler Murray’s Injury Keep Him Out?
Arizona’s worst fears were confirmed the following day as MRIs confirmed what HC Kliff Kingsbury and many others within the organization had expected: Murray tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. With doctors verifying the injury, Murray’s season is over, according to Kingsbury.
About a week later, NFL Network National Insider Ian Rapoport corroborated that Murray sustained a clean ACL tear with associated meniscus damage. The fourth-year QB plans to pre-habilitate the injury for a few weeks before getting surgery around the turn of the new year.
While Arizona would typically be turning to Colt McCoy, who has established his role as the backup, he is also down with an injury after suffering a concussion in his first start relieving Murray. Kingsbury now turns to Trace McSorley as Arizona’s starter, with David Blough backing him up. With Murray’s 2022 season over, what does this injury mean for 2023?
When Will Murray Play Again?
With Murray scheduled to undergo ACL and meniscus surgery, he’s expected to have a nine-month recovery timeline. If he gets surgery at the beginning of January, his estimated return date would be sometime in September, right at the start of the 2023 season. However, that assumes it’s only a nine-month recovery.
With advances in medicine and sports science, the recovery time for an injury of this magnitude continues to decrease slowly. If Murray recovers in eight months, Arizona would likely see him play the entire season after both parties agreed to a five-year extension last offseason.
However, not all bodies are the same, and there is also a chance his ACL tear takes longer to heal than average. A nine-and-a-half/ten-month recovery timeline would push Murray’s 2023 debut to the end of September or early October. If the Cardinals think he could miss three to four weeks, this opens the possibility for Murray to start next season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. If he does land on the PUP list in 2023, he would be required to miss Arizona’s first four games before being eligible to play.
While nothing can be determined until Murray has had the surgery, all the information points to a nine-month hiatus. He shouldn’t miss too much time in 2023 if all goes well.