October 15, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch (83) before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

WR Greg Dortch signs tender with Cardinals

Wide receiver Greg Dortch signed his exclusive rights free-agent tender with the Arizona Cardinals, the team said Wednesday.

Dortch, 25, posted his second straight season with 900-plus all-purpose yards in 2023. After catching one pass in Arizona’s first nine games, he caught 23 balls for 278 yards and two touchdowns in his last seven games.

He has 79 catches for 762 yards and four touchdowns in 37 games (10 starts) since joining the Cardinals ahead of the 2021 season. He has also returned 58 punts for 471 yards and 32 kickoffs for 657 yards with Arizona.

Undrafted out of Wake Forest, Dortch appeared in two games with the Carolina Panthers in 2019 but did not have a reception.

–Field Level Media

Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (91) celebrates after recovering a fumble to score against the Kansas City Chiefs during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals adding DT Bilal Nichols, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting to defense

The Arizona Cardinals are boosting their pass rush with the signing of free-agent defensive tackle Bilal Nichols to a three-year, $21 million contract that includes $14.4 guaranteed, ESPN reported Monday.

The Cardinals also are re-signing offensive lineman Trystan Colon to a one-year, $1.7 million deal with $450,000 guaranteed and worth up to $2 million with incentives, NFL Network reported.

Arizona and former Tennessee Titans cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting have agreed to terms which were not immediately disclosed, NFL Network also reported.

Nichols, 27, started all 34 games the past two seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders. He had 48 tackles with four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one fumble return for a touchdown in a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in 2023.

He played on 54 percent of the defensive snaps, compared to 71 percent in 2022 when he totaled 44 tackles, four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

The Chicago Bears selected Nichols in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Delaware. He has totaled 238 tackles, 14 sacks, 26 tackles for loss and 44 quarterback hits in 94 games (83 starts) for the Bears (2018-21) and Raiders.

Colon, who will be 26 on March 23, spent his first season in Arizona in 2023 after three years with the Baltimore Ravens (2020-22). He started four of the 14 games he played with the Cardinals last season and has played 34 career games (eight starts).

Murphy-Bunting, 26, was a second-round selection of Tampa Bay in 2019 out of Central Michigan. He played for the Buccaneers from 2019-22 before joining Tennessee as a free agent in March 2023.

He started all 14 games he played for the Titans, making 57 tackles and two interceptions. He has 245 tackles and eight interceptions with one returned for a touchdown in 67 career games (50 starts).

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) signals to his team against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (illness) not practicing Wednesday

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has a “holiday bug” and will not practice Wednesday.

Head coach Jonathan Gannon added that he was not concerned about Murray’s availability for the rest of the week.

The Cardinals (3-12) visit the Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) on Sunday afternoon.

Murray, 26, has passed for 1,305 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions in six starts this season.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection missed the first nine games while recovering from a torn ACL.

Murray’s illness means rookie Clayton Tune likely will get the first-team reps at Wednesday’s practice.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter (93) on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Season over for Cardinals DL Jonathan Ledbetter (knee)

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter will miss the final two games of the season with a knee injury.

Head coach Jonathan Gannon confirmed the status of Ledbetter on Tuesday.

The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss at Chicago and Ledbetter did not return.

Ledbetter posted career highs in starts (12), sacks (1.5), quarterback hits (four) and tackles (46) this season. He has three sacks and 72 tackles in 28 games (16 starts) with the Miami Dolphins (2019) and Cardinals (2021-23).

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) attempts a pass as Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Roy Lopez (98) applies defensive pressure during the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Texans overcome 3 INTs from CJ Stroud, hold off Cardinals

Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud overcame his first career multi-interception game and the Houston Texas survived a ragged second half to post a 21-16 victory over the visiting Arizona Cardinals Sunday at NRG Stadium.

Stroud passed for 336 yards and two touchdowns but also tossed three interceptions – two in the red zone. Those turnovers helped offset strong efforts from rookie receiver Tank Dell, who had eight catches for 149 yards, and running back Devin Singletary, who rushed for 112 yards.

After closing to within five points on a Kyler Murray 1-yard run with 2:52 left in the third quarter, the Cardinals (2-9) could not get over the hump, finishing 3 of 10 on third downs and 0 of 3 on fourth downs following the Murray scoring dash en route to their ninth consecutive road loss.

Murray passed for 214 yards and rushed for 51 yards in his second start of the season.

The red-zone opportunities the Texans (6-4) failed to convert in the first half were significant.

Houston surged into the red zone on all five of its first-half possessions, but was stopped on its first when running back Mike Boone was stuffed on fourth down at the Arizona 15 by Cardinals linebacker Kyzir White.

The Texans trailed 7-0 at that juncture, courtesy of a 48-yard scoring pass from Murray to Rondale Moore, but Houston pulled even with a five-play 61-yard drive capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Dalton Schultz with 5:48 left in the first.

The Texans answered a 57-yard Matt Prater field goal with a 10-play, 75-yard march concluded with an 11-yard Singletary touchdown run with 11:20 left in the half.

But instead of capitalizing on a Derek Stingley Jr. interception of Murray on the next drive, the Texans pushed into the red zone only for Stroud to throw the first of his interceptions, this one to Arizona safety Jalen Thompson.

Stroud appeared to shake off that miscue on the following possession, engineering a six-play, 74-yard march that resulted in a 40-yard touchdown pass to Dell and a 21-10 lead with 26 seconds left in the half. It marked the sixth scoring reception for Dell, a franchise rookie record.

The Texans amassed 333 yards and 18 first downs prior to the intermission while converting 6 of 7 third downs. Stroud passed for 259 yards in the first half while Dell had 120 yards receiving.

– Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) stands on the sidelines before the start of the Washington Commanders and Arizona Cardinals game at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (knee) upgraded to questionable

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray officially was upgraded on the injury report to questionable Friday, increasing the possibility that he could make his season debut Sunday on the road against the Cleveland Browns.

Murray tore his ACL on Dec. 12 last season and has been in recovery mode ever since, showing progress while practicing with the team for the past three weeks. He reportedly will be making the trip with the team to Cleveland.

“He’s making strides, but I just want to make sure he feels comfortable with everything that we’re asking him to do,” Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon said this week.

Gannon said Murray won’t start unless he feels 100 percent comfortable, with a decision at QB to come possibly on Saturday for the 1-7 Cardinals, who are on a five-game losing streak.

After Arizona traded quarterback Joshua Dobbs to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday, the Cardinals will start either Murray or rookie Clayton Tune against the Browns.

Murray, 26, has started all 57 games he has played over four seasons, completing 66.8 percent of his passes for 13,848 yards, 84 touchdowns and 41 interceptions. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2020 and 2021, while guiding Arizona into the playoffs following the 2021 season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) stands on the sidelines before the start of the Washington Commanders and Arizona Cardinals game at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals don’t activate QB Kyler Murray vs. Ravens

The Arizona Cardinals did not activate quarterback Kyler Murray for Sunday’s home game against the Baltimore Ravens, instead leaving him on the physically unable to perform list.

Murray had been listed Friday as doubtful for the game after being a full participant Thursday and Friday and left off the injury report.

“He’s fully healthy,” Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon said Friday.

Murray hasn’t played since tearing the ACL in his right knee on Dec. 12 and, after surgery this year, has been on the PUP list. Then he was designated to return on Oct. 18, opening the 21-day window until Nov. 8 to add him to the 53-man roster. Joshua Dobbs will remain the starter Sunday.

The Cardinals placed starting left guard Elijah Wilkinson (neck) on injured reserve Saturday, creating a roster spot. Wilkinson, 28, has started six games this season, his first with Arizona after stints with the Denver Broncos (2017-20), Chicago Bears (2021) and Atlanta Falcons (2022).

The team signed wide receiver Andre Baccellia from the practice squad, and elevated running back Damien Williams and defensive lineman Ben Stille from the practice squad for game day.

Baccellia, 26, played in eight games last season and caught seven passes for 45 yards. He could fill in for wide receiver Greg Dortch, who sustained an ankle injury in practice Friday and is listed as questionable for the game.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks on prior to the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals leave opening for QB Kyler Murray’s debut vs. Ravens

With two words, “We’ll see,” Arizona Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon left open the possibility Friday that quarterback Kyler Murray could make his season debut Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Murray hasn’t played since tearing the ACL in his right knee on Dec. 12 and, after surgery this year, has been on the physically unable to perform list. Then he was designated to return from the PUP list last week, opening the 21-day window to add him to the 53-man roster.

He was limited in practice before being a full participant Thursday and left off the injury report.

“He’s fully healthy,” Gannon explained Friday.

“Ball jumps off of his hand, he’s explosive getting out of the pocket, he’s accurate,” Gannon said. “Got good command of the offense right now, and he threads the needle pretty well on certain throws.”

As for his quarterback’s status on Sunday, Gannon said, “We’ll see.”

The Cardinals later officially listed him as doubtful. They had to give him a game designation — questionable, doubtful or out — on Friday if they wanted to keep him on the PUP list. Otherwise, he had to be activated on Saturday from the PUP list for Sunday’s game.

Meanwhile, the Ravens (5-2) proceeded with their preparations for the Cardinals (1-6) and Murray or current starter Joshua Dobbs.

“We’ll see. That’s really all you can say,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Friday. “We’ll be ready for whichever quarterback is playing and whatever players play.”

The Cardinals acquired Dobbs on Aug. 25 to be QB1 while Murray continued rehabbing his surgically repaired knee. Dobbs has thrown for 1,361 yards and six touchdowns against three interceptions.

Murray, 26, signed a five-year, $230.5 million deal before the 2022 season. He is 25-31-1 as a starter, having thrown for 13,848 yards and 84 touchdowns against 41 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker will miss a minimum of four games after the team placed him on injured reserve on Monday.

Report: Cardinals to activate S Budda Baker (hamstring) from injured reserve

The Arizona Cardinals will activate safety Budda Baker and he is expected to play Sunday against the host Seattle Seahawks, the NFL Network reported Saturday.

Baker has been on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. He was limited in practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Baker, 27, suffered a severe hamstring injury in the Cardinals’ season opener against Washington. The five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro had missed just five games since being drafted by the Cardinals in 2017, including the final two games of the 2022 season with a shoulder injury.

He has 655 tackles, seven interceptions and 7.5 sacks in 94 games (84 starts), including just one game this season when he made five tackles.

–Field Level Media