Kyler Murray Injury Update: Will the Cardinals QB Miss a Chunk of the 2023 Season?

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray tore his ACL in Week 14 of the 2022 season. What is the latest news on his rehab, and when can we expect him to return to the field?

In the modern-day NFL, the quarterback is king. The position is often referred to as the most important in all sports. When the Arizona Cardinals saw their franchise QB, Kyler Murray, go down with an ACL injury in December 2022, it shifted the team’s outlook dramatically.

What is the latest on Murray’s rehabilitation, and what does it mean for the Cardinals and fantasy football managers? Let’s find out.

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What Happened to Kyler Murray?

On the third play from scrimmage in the Cardinals’ Week 14 matchup against the New England Patriots last season, Murray scrambled to his right and fell to the ground after crossing the line of scrimmage. With no contact on the play, the entire stadium hushed with the likely reality that Murray’s injury was serious.

As it turned out, Murray had, in fact, torn his ACL in his right knee. The timing could not have been any worse for the quarterback. The team had entered Week 14 with a 4-8 record and had been all but eliminated from the playoffs.

Murray needed to have surgery and rehab his injured knee, a timetable that can last a year or more in some cases. With the injury occurring in December, this not only ended his 2022 season but also put his status for the 2023 campaign in jeopardy.

What Are the Cardinals’ Options if Murray Misses Time?

The Cardinals have had an entire offseason to make plans for the fact that Murray may not be able to play for a large portion of the 2023 season. Yet, they haven’t made any major moves at the position. The biggest addition to the room was the investment of a fifth-round pick in former Houston Cougar QB Clayton Tune.

Additionally, as of August 24th, the Cardinals have acquired Joshua Dobbs and a 2024 7th-round pick from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a 2024 5th-round selection.

Currently, backup QB Colt McCoy seems to be in the driver’s seat to get the start in Week 1. But the Cardinals could give Tune a trial by fire early in the year if they choose or roll out their newly acquired veteran QB in Dobbs. Either way, the man under center for the Cardinals is not likely to be Murray come the start of the regular season.

But how long Murray may be out this year is not totally clear. The Cardinals have still not ruled Murray out for any games as of yet. There is optimism among Cardinals fans and fantasy managers, but this may just be blind hope.

According to some close to the situation, the Cardinals are telling people privately that Murray is more than likely not expected to play this year. In a year that figures to be a rebuilding season, with the possibility of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft in play, there’s very little incentive for Arizona to rush Murray back onto the field.

Editor’s Note: Murray has been placed on the PUP list to begin the 2023 NFL season, which means that he will be sidelined for at least the first four games.

What Does This Mean for Murray’s Fantasy Ranking?

Murray’s fantasy value has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride since his injury last December. From a redraft perspective, Murray is someone who you won’t want to touch early in your drafts as it isn’t clear when he will be back in 2023 … if he returns at all.

From a dynasty perspective, Murray’s stock took a dip after the injury and has fluctuated back and forth. But one of the biggest hits post-injury came on draft night when the Cardinals traded back in the first round with the Houston Texans. The team acquired the Texans’ 2024 first-round pick in the return package.

Arizona has been projected by many as a team that could be a bottom-feeder, as well as Houston. Some have speculated that the Cardinals could have not one but two top-five picks in the 2024 draft. This begs the question if the Cardinals would try to move on from Murray next offseason if Caleb Williams or Drake Maye is a possibility for the team in the desert.

With all this in mind, it is hard to invest major capital in Murray for your dynasty team. His future in Arizona is murky … not just in 2023. If the Cardinals decide to draft another first-round quarterback with one already rostered (something they did with Josh Rosen when Murray arrived), Murray could be anywhere come 2024. Proceed with caution in every fantasy format.

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