Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is progressing toward a start Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury.
Murray had been considered as questionable to play this week, with head coach Kliff Klingsbury saying Wednesday that his QB was “trending in the right direction.”
The Cardinals are just 4-7 this season but have gone 1-1 with Murray on the sideline. Colt McCoy guided Arizona to a 27-17 victory on the road Nov. 13 against the Los Angeles Rams. The Cardinals dropped a 38-10 decision Monday night at Mexico City against the San Francisco 49ers.
Murray was injured during a loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 30 and aggravated the hamstring during the following week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
“Once it kind of happened the next week I kind of knew it was probably best for me to let it rest,” Murray told reporters last week. “Once it happens, it’s unfortunate, but it happens. It’s a part of the game. We all go through it. You never want it to be yourself, but you try to get back as quick as possible.”
Murray, 25, has thrown for 2,168 yards in nine games this season to go along with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also has 359 yards rushing with two TDs.
In four seasons, all with the Cardinals, the 2019 offensive rookie of the year and two-time Pro Bowl selection, has thrown for 13,648 yards with 82 TDs and 40 interceptions. He also has added 2,145 on the ground with 22 TDs.
–Field Level Media
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins returned from the suspended list Monday and could be back on the field Thursday night when the New Orleans Saints roll into town.
And for 2-4 Arizona, the help couldn’t be more timely.
“He’s gonna be anxious to get the ball in his hands and be super competitive. We need him to lift us up, there’s no question, with how we’re playing right now,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
Hopkins also returns as the Cardinals lost top receiver Marquise Brown (foot) to injury and already were playing without running backs James Conner (ribs) and Darrel Williams (knee).
Brown was injured on the final play of the game in the loss to the Seahawks. He’s expected to miss six weeks with a small non-surgical fracture, NFL Network reported. The team feared Brown might miss the rest of the season.
The Cardinals also fear starting left guard Justin Pugh is done for the season with a knee injury suffered Sunday, according to NFL Network.
To fill Brown’s spot, the Cardinals acquired Robbie Anderson from the Carolina Panthers. Anderson was kicked out of the Panthers’ game with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday by interim head coach Steve Wilks.
The Cardinals confirmed the deal Monday, adding the trade is contingent upon Anderson passing a physical. The Cardinals are sending Carolina a sixth-round pick in 2024 and a seventh-round pick in 2025, per ESPN.
The Cardinals officially added Hopkins to the active roster and released kicker Matt Ammendola.
Even with Anderson, Hopkins represents the potential cavalry amid a streak of three losses in four games and on the heels of producing only three field goals at Seattle in a 19-9 loss on Sunday.
Kyler Murray was sacked six times by the Seahawks, who entered the game ranked 32nd in scoring defense.
With Hopkins for 10 games last season, Murray was 8-2, completed 72 percent of his passes and had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 19-9.
In 10 games without the five-time Pro Bowler since the start of the 2021 season, Murray is 3-7 with a completion percentage of 64 and an 11-6 TD-INT ratio.
Anderson, 29, did not have any catches in Sunday’s 24-10 loss to the Rams. Wilks sent him to the locker room late in the third quarter after Anderson got in a heated argument with position coach Joe Dailey.
“No one is bigger than the team,” Wilks said after the loss, which dropped Carolina to 1-5. “I’m not going to focus and put a lot of attention on one individual.”
Anderson has caught 13 of his 27 targets this season for 206 yards and one touchdown in six games. Over seven seasons with the New York Jets (2016-19) and Panthers, he has 368 receptions for 4,880 yards and 29 scores in 101 games (84 starts).
Pugh, 32, is in his sixth season in Arizona. He’s having additional testing done to ascertain the severity of his injury. He has started all but one of his 57 games with the Cardinals. Drafted No. 19 overall in 2013 by the New York Giants, Pugh has started 119 of 120 games in his 10-year career.
–Field Level Media
Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt said he will play in Sunday’s game at the Carolina Panthers.
Watt, who was listed as questionable to face the Panthers due to a calf injury, revealed Sunday morning on social media that he also experienced a cardiac scare this week.
“I was just told somebody leaked some personal information about me and it’s going to be reported on today,” Watt posted on Twitter. “I went into A-Fib on Wednesday, had my heart shocked back into rhythm on Thursday and I’m playing today. That’s it.”
Watt, 33, has two sacks and three tackles in two games this season. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has 104 sacks, 294 quarterback hits and 26 forced fumbles in 137 starts with the Houston Texans (2011-20) and Cardinals.
–Field Level Media
The Arizona Cardinals activated tight end Maxx Williams from the physically unable to perform list on Thursday.
Williams, 28, landed on the PUP list on July 22. He has been recovering from a torn right ACL suffered last October.
He had 16 catches for 193 yards and one touchdown in five games last season. He signed a one-year, $1,272,500 contract in the offseason.
Williams has 102 receptions for 994 yards and six scores in 72 career games with the Baltimore Ravens (2015-18) and Cardinals.
–Field Level Media
Arizona Cardinals star Kyler Murray has agreed to a contract extension that will make him among the richest quarterbacks in the NFL, according to multiple reports.
The Cardinals officially announced Murray’s five-year contract extension Thursday but did not disclose financial terms. However, the deal is reportedly worth $230.5 million, with $160 million guaranteed.
The agreement follows months of back and forth between Murray’s camp and the Cardinals.
In February, Murray scrubbed his Instagram page of all references to the Cardinals, making apparent his dissatisfaction with his contract at the time. His agent later released a statement of more than 1,000 words saying Murray wanted a new contract.
In May, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said he thought the two sides would “be able to get something done this summer.”
Murray attended just one session of this year’s voluntary OTAs.
Murray, 24, was drafted first overall by the Cardinals in 2019 and quickly established himself as one of the league’s top young QBs, helping the Cardinals improve from five wins in 2019 to eight in 2020 then up to 11 in 2021.
In 2021, Murray passed for 3,787 yards and 24 touchdowns against 10 interceptions, and he also rushed for 423 yards and five scores last season.
Murray made his playoff debut against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC wild-card round and his performance did not impress. He completed 19 of 34 passes for only 137 yards and two interceptions in a 34-11 loss.
In three seasons, Murray has a 22-23-1 record as a starter. He has passed for 11,480 yards, 70 touchdowns and 34 interceptions, while rushing for 1,786 yards and 20 scores in 46 starts.
The Cardinals selected Murray out of Oklahoma months after he was named the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner.
–Field Level Media