Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray was not present at the open portion of practice Wednesday after suffering an injury to his ankle at the end of the Week 8 Thursday Night Football game against the Packers. The question now is whether Murray is in danger of missing the Cardinals’ Week 9 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. Let’s take a look at what we know so far.
Update 11/07/2021: According to a report from Albert Breer, the Cardinals staff are under the impression that Murray will miss the game Sunday.
Kyler Murray’s injury is reportedly a medial ankle sprain
Last Friday, Kliff Kingsbury told the media that Murray’s ankle was “sore,” and they would be evaluating the QB early in the week ahead of the 49ers game. On Sunday morning, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that the injury was a “one-to-three-week type of sprained ankle.” Glazer would later tweet that the injury was a medial ankle sprain and that the Cardinals were hoping he would miss no time with the injury.
Murray was not present at the open portion of practice at all this week
Murray’s absence to open the Cardinals’ practice again Friday has continued to highlight the concern that he could miss time. With Kingsbury and Glazer both saying he would be re-evaluated early this week, his continued absence would suggest that the evaluation was not overly promising.
However, there is always the case that the Cardinals are simply being cautious with Murray and his injury. They could be resting him through practice in the hope he can play Sunday. Murray will test the injury ahead of Sunday’s game with the 49ers to see if he can play.
The Cardinals’ QB situation could look very different with this injury
We saw last season how an injury to Murray impacted his play. Last year was a shoulder injury. But an ankle injury is a major concern for a QB who relies on his mobility to the extent that Murray does.
His ability to make plays with his legs hides a lot of their offensive line deficiencies. It also opens up the running game for James Conner and Chase Edmonds with the threat Murray provides. Even if he is healthy and on the field in Week 9, Murray’s ankle injury will be felt by the team.
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If Murray is not able to play, it will be Colt McCoy who starts. Both McCoy and Chris Streveler were getting work in on Wednesday. McCoy is listed on the Cardinals’ depth chart as the backup and has taken snaps this season late in games. However, Streveler stepped in when Murray left the field in 2020.
McCoy is not as mobile as Murray, which could leave them exposed behind an offensive line that has struggled at times this year. What happens with Murray Sunday morning could have a huge impact on whether Arizona can bounce back from their first loss of the season.