Cardinals expect QB Kyler Murray to start Sunday vs. Falcons

The Arizona Cardinals are activating quarterback Kyler Murray from the physically unable to play list this week.

Head coach Jonathan Gannon told reporters Monday that Murray will practice with the starters and play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons barring any setbacks.

"Kyler's going to continue to ramp up," Gannon said. "He'll take the one reps. If the week goes well, he'll start on Sunday.

"We're pleased where he's at right now. We'll see how the week goes."

Kyler Murray is expected to make his first start on Sunday since tearing his right ACL last season. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Kyler Murray is expected to make his first start on Sunday since tearing his right ACL last season. (Michael Owens/Getty Images) (Michael Owens via Getty Images)

Murray tore the ACL in his right knee in a Week 14 game against the New England Patriots last December. He missed the final four games of Arizona's 2022 season and the first nine games of this season.

The Cardinals have started Joshua Dobbs and rookie Clayton Tune at quarterback this season in Murray's absence. Dobbs started the Cardinals' first eight games before they traded him to the Minnesota Vikings last week prior to the trade deadline. Tune made his first NFL start in Sunday's 27-0 loss to the Cleveland Browns. He completed 11 of 20 passes for 58 yards with two interceptions.

Murray returns to a 1-8 Cardinals team with the worst record in the NFL and no reasonable hope of making the playoffs. The former No. 1 pick of the draft, Murray's a two-time Pro Bowler who won Rookie of the Year in 2019 as a dual-threat quarterback.

He showed signs of regression before his injury last season while averaging a career low 6.1 yards per passing attempt with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions in a 3-8 Cardinals start. He's playing on a $230 million contract extension he signed in 2022 that runs through the 2028 season.

The Cardinals are at a potential crossroads with Murray after parting with head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim last offseason. The franchise hired Kingsbury to run his offense with Murray and drafted Murray under Keim's watch.

They could use the final eight games of the season to evaluate where they stand with Murray in a new regime with Gannon as head coach and highly touted quarterback prospects Caleb Williams and Drake Maye expected to be available in next year's draft.