Kyler Murray declared for the 2019 NFL Draft and was selected as the first overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals. His rookie season in 2019 showed promising signs as he displayed his athleticism and playmaking ability. He quickly established himself as a dynamic dual-threat quarterback, capable of making explosive plays with both his arm and his legs.
In the seasons since, Murray continued to impress and developed into one of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the league. His ability to extend plays, make accurate throws, and use his speed and agility to escape pressure make him one of the more unique talents at the position.
Entering 2022, the pressure was high for Kyler Murray as he had just signed a massive new contract, and his coach was potentially on the hot seat. The first nine weeks of the season had some ups and downs, with the Cardinals missing some personnel throughout. Weeks 10 and 11 saw Kyler miss time due to a hamstring injury. He had barely recovered from that injury when he suffered a season-ending ACL and meniscus injury in week 14.
While a torn ACL can end a season in today’s NFL, it’s not a career-ending injury, and players often return to their pre-injury form. However, Murray’s situation is more complicated due to the additional meniscus tear. That said, things could’ve been worse.
Typically, the recovery time for one of these injuries is 9-12 months before a player can return to the field. It’s worth noting that the recovery period for professional athletes, like NFL quarterbacks, is often accelerated due to their access to specialized medical care, resources, and dedicated rehabilitation teams. However, it’s crucial not to rush the recovery process to ensure the best possible outcome and minimize the risk of reinjury. For most players, we have to wait 2 years after an ACL injury for them to look like their old selves.
The good news for Kyler Murray is that quarterbacks generally return to form faster than other position players, as they’re not as reliant on cutting and jumping as wide receivers and running backs (think, Joe Burrow and Deshawn Watson). The bad news is that the injury happened late enough in the season that he is certain to miss time in 2023. The question is, how much time will he miss?
Starting the season on the PUP would have him on the field for a Week 5 matchup at home against the Bengals. However, this is an absolute best-case scenario. Given the Cardinals’ bleak outlook for the 2023 season with or without Murray, it would make sense for them not to rush him and possibly limit him to 7 or fewer games. It’s also notable that the first year back from an ACL tear there is typically a decline in rushing production which is a major part of Kyler’s appeal to fantasy managers.
Getting him on the field down the stretch would be good for him to knock the rust off, but it’s not going to be enough for fantasy managers.
In redraft leagues, he’s a nice dart throw if your league has an IR spot, but I wouldn’t recommend holding him on your bench.
For dynasty leagues, he’s a strong Hold. There’s no need to sell him low, as his value should only increase as they get more weapons around him. When healthy, he’s never not been a top 10 producer at the position.
I hope this update provides clarity on his injury and assists you in making decisions regarding rostering him. Looking for more updates? Find us on www.gridironratings.com , and get weekly updates every Wednesday on the Next Man Up podcast with Apple Podcasts or Spotify!