When it comes to star quarterback (and potential MVP front-runner) Kyler Murray, it has been another wait-and-see week for the Arizona Cardinals, their fans, and their opponent. Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury suggested Wednesday that Murray’s ankle injury is improving. However, Kingsbury added “we’ll see” when asked about the quarterback’s availability for this weekend’s Cardinals-Seahawks game. That hadn’t changed much by Friday, when Kingsbury announced that Murray will be a game-time decision.
Kyler Murray’s injury has his status in question
“He definitely progressed,” Kingsbury said Friday. “So we want to make sure that he’s in a place where he can play his game, protect himself and do all the things, and if he can, he’ll be out there.”
Murray and backup Colt McCoy both are officially questionable to play after injuries limited each’s participation in practice all week.
“I’m pretty close,” Murray said Wednesday, via Darren Urban of the team’s website. “I’m much further along than I thought I was going to be.”
The Cardinals did not believe Murray’s injured ankle had made enough progress by Sunday for him to play, so they started McCoy for a second straight week.
Game No. 2 did not go as well as game No. 1 for McCoy. He completed 11 of 20 passes for 107 yards and a pick before the pec injury in the 34-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers. McCoy eventually gave way to third-stringer Chris Streveler, who would start Sunday if both Murray and McCoy are out.
Is Kyler Murray an MVP candidate in 2021?
McCoy’s regression Sunday spotlighted just how valuable Murray is to his team. Entering Week 11, Murray leads the league in completion percentage (72.7%) and yards per pass (8.9) and has thrown 17 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
Murray isn’t benefitting from a bunch of easy throws. His completion percentage over expectation (8.6%) leads the NFL.
And yet, bizarrely, Murray is seventh in MVP odds. He’s behind Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, and Lamar Jackson.
On the season, McCoy has a 92.3 passer rating but just a 29.2 QBR, suggesting his stats don’t properly reflect how poorly he has played. Streveler completed 6 of 9 passes for 36 yards and was sacked twice in 22 offensive snaps Sunday.