The Arizona Cardinals have gained more clarity regarding their quarterback situation, just under two weeks before the commencement of Week 1.
Kyler Murray will remain on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list until after the Tuesday 4 p.m. ET deadline, as confirmed by Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon on Monday. As a result of starting the season on the PUP list, Murray is set to miss at least the initial four games of the regular season. Upon activation, he will have a 21-day window to practice and be included in the 53-man roster. If this period lapses without activation, he will remain on the PUP list for the entirety of the season.
In a related move, the Cardinals released quarterback Colt McCoy on Monday, a day before the league-wide roster reduction to 53 players. This decision follows the recent acquisition of quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who was traded for four days ago. Notably, McCoy, the 36-year-old who joined the Cardinals in 2021, held the first-team quarterback position throughout the spring, training camp, and preseason as the team awaited Murray’s return from ACL surgery.
Gannon, the Cardinals’ coach, explained that the choice to begin the season without McCoy was made after evaluating his overall performance. He stated, “It’s not that he failed to impress, but rather a comprehensive assessment of his performance during OTAs, training camp, and games led us to this decision which we believe is in the best interest of Arizona.”
Murray, who sustained a right knee injury in Week 14 of the prior season, underwent surgery in early January. While expressing a desire to return by Week 1, he acknowledged uncertainty about the required practice time before being ready for regular-season action.
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Gannon confirmed that if Murray misses the initial four games, his rehabilitation approach will not change. Balancing both football-related and rehab-related plans, the priority remains Murray’s health and well-being.
With McCoy’s departure and Murray’s unavailability for Week 1 against the Washington Commanders, the Cardinals will likely select their starter from Dobbs and fifth-round pick Clayton Tune. Gannon refrained from disclosing the starter on Monday, citing a well-structured evaluation plan that will be conducted over the ensuing two weeks. He emphasized that the decision will be made before the game against Washington but will not be publicly announced until then.
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Tune took charge of the second-team offense during most of the spring, training camp, and preseason. In contrast, Dobbs, who arrived via trade from the Browns, brings familiarity with Cardinals’ offensive coordinator Drew Petzing and quarterbacks coach Israel Woolfork from their shared time in Cleveland.
Gannon revealed that the Cardinals had considered signing Dobbs during the previous offseason and were prepared due to prior research. The opportunity to trade for him last week was promptly seized, with Gannon describing Dobbs as a “mobile player who comprehends the system” and can excel both within and outside the pocket.
Gannon expressed comfort with the notion of Dobbs potentially starting in Week 1 despite not yet having played with the Cardinals. The existing familiarity with Petzing’s scheme is deemed valuable, as an adaptation to the system is typically challenging.
Regarding the possibility of having a third quarterback active on game day, Gannon stated, “We’re still in the process of determining that.”