TEMPE, Ariz. (AP)Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray didn’t practice for a second straight day on Thursday because of an injured ankle, casting doubt on his status for the team’s upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Murray hurt his left ankle on the final drive of Arizona’s 24-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers last Thursday, which was the team’s first loss of the season.
”Just taking it one day at a time,” Murray said on Wednesday. ”Not really putting anything on it, just like I said, taking it one day at a time and seeing where it goes.”
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said Murray could play on Sunday even if hasn’t practiced up until that point.
Murray has been one of the league’s most exciting quarterbacks the past three years partly because of his ability to run. But the 2019 No. 1 overall pick hasn’t run as much so far this season and is on pace for about 300 yards rushing after gaining more than 800 yards on the ground last season.
”He’s a pocket passer now,” Kingsbury said. ”I think he can handle it well. He’s done a great job from the pocket – great completion percentage, protecting the ball. We feel good about him being able to operate even if he can’t have his full array of weapons.”
Arizona’s backup quarterback is veteran Colt McCoy, who was signed during the offseason. The 35-year-old has started 30 games over his 11-year career, including two last season with the New York Giants.
”He (McCoy) would be great,” Kingsbury said. ”He approaches it like a starter. He’s here all day, every day. Early, stays late, does all the stuff you want. He’s been a tremendous addition.
”If Kyler wasn’t able to make it, we’d have all the confidence in the world in Colt.”
Murray is one of the leading MVP candidates halfway through the season. The 24-year-old has led the Cardinals to a 7-1 record and has thrown for 2,276 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing nearly 73% of his passes. He’s also run for three touchdowns.
Murray said he doesn’t necessarily need to run to make plays, but he does need to be mobile enough to escape trouble.
”If I have to, I have to, but at the same time, there’s a difference between running and protecting yourself,” Murray said. ”You can’t just be a sitting duck in the pocket, so we’ll take it one day at a time.”
Murray’s injury is one of several for a banged-up Arizona offense. Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) also didn’t practice on Thursday and another receiver, A.J. Green, was put on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL