With Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray poised to make his 2023 debut Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, less than a year after tearing his ACL, the questions now spin toward how the single-caller fits in Arizona’s offense and how the staff will use his talents.
More specific to the first few games is how much the Cardinals might ask Murray to run on that surgically repaired knee. Offensive coordinator Drew Petzing suggested no restrictions on the QB’s return.
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“He’s healthy, he’s ready to go and we will put him in position to be successful,” Petzing said Tuesday, via the team’s official website. “That’s always the nature of the franchise quarterback, and you see it around the league when they are very mobile, there is an injury risk associated with that. We have to manage that as all teams with elite quarterbacks do.”
For his career, Murray has rushed 381 times for 2,204 yards with 23 touchdowns. Per Next Gen Stats, 171 of those totes came on designed runs, 179 were scrambles, one QB sneak and 30 QB kneels.
For comparison, in Petzing’s offense during the first eight weeks, Arizona called 16 designed runs for Joshua Dobbs, who added 17 scrambles, 10 QB sneaks and four QB kneels, per NGS.
Inevitably, Murray will run, and he’ll get hit. Those are both realities. The question moving forward is how the QB and the coach manage those situations. The former No. 1 overall pick is a dynamic player with both his arm and legs. Curtailing his running opportunities, even after an injury, would hinder Murray from being at his best.
“Anytime he runs and gets tackled, no matter what the situation, from now until the end of time, there is going to be like, ‘Get up. He’s good?'” Petzing said. “Anytime you have a great player in that position you feel that way to some extent. He’s so dynamic at it. He’s going to get tackled, that’s a fact.”
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