Sources: Cardinals' Kyler Murray won't come off PUP when eligible

September 30, 2023, 5:49 PM

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is not expected to come off the physically unable to perform list when he becomes eligible Monday and still is considered weeks away from playing, league sources told ESPN.

Murray has not practiced since tearing his right ACL in December against the New England Patriots. The former No. 1 overall draft selection wants and plans to return this season, but he slowly is ramping up his comeback in an attempt to rejoin the Cardinals, sources told ESPN.

"It just doesn't feel like [Murray's return] is imminent," a Cardinals source said.

The rules that govern activation from the PUP list also make it seem logical that it will be late October, at the earliest, before Murray returns to action.

After a player has missed four games on the PUP list, his team has a five-week period during which to allow the injured player to resume practicing. Once the player starts practicing, the team has three weeks to decide whether to activate him to the 53-man roster.

If the player never returns to practice or returns but isn't healthy enough to rejoin the active roster by the end of those deadlines, he must remain on the PUP list for the entire season. For now, Murray would like to return -- sources say he likes the direction of the team and the offense, as well as the energy that new head coach Jonathan Gannon has brought -- but he still is recovering and needs to start practicing.

Without Murray, the Cardinals have relied on Joshua Dobbs, whom they acquired shortly before the start of the season in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. Dobbs has brought a belief and energy to the Cardinals that has kept them in every game and left them in position to upset the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Dobbs also has yet to throw an interception while providing valued leadership.

But if and when Murray is ready, Dobbs' time as the Cardinals' starter would likely come to an end.

Gannon indicated earlier this month that the Cardinals would be cautious with Murray's return, saying that he is "not in a hurry" to activate the Heisman Trophy winner as soon as he is eligible.

"[We would] love to have him out there," Gannon said on Sept. 22. "He's itching to be back, but we'll take that one day at a time."