TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Coach Jonathan Gannon cautioned Kyler Murray that he might not be the same old quarterback right away on Sunday, following a 335-day layoff caused by a torn ACL in his right knee.
The Arizona Cardinals star isn't buying it.
“He told me that to my face and I kinda laughed at him,” Murray said. “I understand the thought process, but every time I touch the field, I'm trying to do my thing. Obviously, win, but do it at a high level.”
Murray — a two-time Pro Bowl selection and 2019 No. 1 overall pick — is on the cusp of returning to game action. He's expected to start on Sunday when the Cardinals host the Atlanta Falcons.
The low-key Murray was his usual self on Thursday.
“Kind of emotionless in a sense,” Murray said. “Not trying to be too high or low. At the end of the day, we're playing football. It's a blessing to be out there with my teammates, move around, run, walk. It was a long 10 months.”
Actually, it was closer to 11 months. The Cardinals had a 1-13 record in his absence.
Gannon — a first-year coach — said that Murray's presence on the roster was one of the biggest reasons the Cardinals job was so attractive. Now he and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing finally get to work with him on gameday.
Murray said it's been a good fit from the start and he doesn't expect that to change.
“Me and (Gannon) hit it off, as soon as he got here,” Murray said. “We see things the same way, the competitiveness is there, and I know he loves the game. We see eye to eye.”
Murray's return comes at a time when the Cardinals need a jolt of energy. Arizona has lost six straight games, including last week's 27-0 debacle against the Cleveland Browns.
The Cardinals could also welcome back veteran running back James Conner on Sunday. Conner has missed the past four games with a knee injury, but was one of the most productive backs in the NFL through the first month of the season.
“We're really not that far off,” Murray said. “People may think we're a bad football team. We're not a bad football team — we've got to clean some things up and we need to make more plays. That's what it comes down to, making plays.”
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