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Cardinals' Kyler Murray expected to play in 2023; OC calls Murray franchise QB, 'leader of this organization'

The Arizona Cardinals are in a fascinating quarterback conundrum that has a multitude of layers. On the surface, and as it relates to Week 1, they have yet to name a starter after cutting Colt McCoy and trading for Joshua Dobbs while also having rookie Clayton Tune on the roster. Of course, they are only in this situation because their presumptive starter and franchise signal caller, Kyler Murray, is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered late last season. 

Arizona head coach Jonathan Gannon told Arizona Sports’ “Burns and Gambo Show” that he expects Murray to play this season, but the team did place him on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he’ll at least miss the first four weeks. Despite that extended absence and no concrete date for his return, it was somewhat curious to see the Cardinals name Murray as one of their six captains for the season, which is his fourth consecutive season with the title. 

While speaking to reporters on Monday, OC Drew Petzing explained that Murray earned the title even while not practicing on the field with his teammates. 

“He’s been unbelievable, really since we walked in the building,” Petzing said, via PHNX Cardinals. “Just done everything we’ve asked from a rehab standpoint, from a learning-the-offense standpoint, from an engagement in the offensive room and getting to know his teammates and things like that. So, really pleased with where he’s at, kind of how he’s handled things, and certainly expect that to continue moving forward, and I think that’s one of the main reasons you see him as a captain. 

“I certainly view him as a franchise quarterback and a leader of this organization. I think his teammates do, too. So, I was really happy for him to kind of get that nod and it’s been good.”

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Murray, who signed a $230.5 million extension with the team in April of 2022, suffered a torn ACL during a Week 14 matchup against New England. The former No. 1 overall pick has been with the franchise since they plucked him out of Oklahoma in 2019, but it has been a rocky tenure, which most recently featured the firing of head coach Kliff Kingsbury last season. Murray has gone 25-31-1 in the regular season and lost his lone playoff start with the team in 2021. 

So, to hear at least one high-ranking figure within the organization agree that Murray is a franchise quarterback is an important nugget to stock away, especially with Arizona not expected to be competitive this season and could earn the No. 1 overall pick where USC phenom Caleb Williams could be waiting for them. If that proves to be the case, it’ll be interesting to see if new GM Monti Ossenfort also views Murray in the same way as Petzing or if he wants to start anew with a rookie. 

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