Kyler Murray injury update won’t give new coach a smooth start

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Kyler Murray’s knee injury could disrupt the Arizona Cardinals in hiring their next head coach.

Although the Arizona Cardinals have a talented franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray, he is coming off a major season-ending knee injury.

Arizona was not a good team last year and the Cardinals cratered once Murray went down. He tore his ACL and meniscus in a non-contact injury. While it makes all the sense in the world for him to take his time during the recovery process, this could be a major turnoff for prospective head-coaching candidates interviewing with the Cardinals’ brass. Murray could miss half of next season.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Murray’s knee injury and his timeline for a return.

"“My understanding is he is going to take his time and make sure this thing is 100 percent right. He is young. He’s got a long career. He’s not going to rush, so do not be surprised if we don’t see him to start the season or maybe even by the midway point. This injury has to heal perfectly.”"

Arizona has also hired a new general manager with Monti Ossenfort coming over from the Tennessee Titans this offseason.

Kyler Murray injury update could make Arizona Cardinals coaching search harder

Look. The Cardinals are probably a better football team than last year’s record indicates. They were poorly coached under Kliff Kingsbury, which is why the Cardinals fired him, just like his alma mater did previously. With Michael Bidwill going outside of the organization to hire Steve Keim’s replacement, you better believe Arizona is way more interested in getting it right than being right.

However, Murray is a mercurial talent. The elite dual-threat playmaking ability is clearly there, but he has demonstrated major leadership issues professionally. He is also massively undersized in a collision sport. Arizona may be an outside candidate of going worst-to-first next season in its division, but it is going to be very difficult to do so without a healthy Murray playing all 17 games.

No doubt about it, that could be off-putting to prospective head-coaching candidates. This is why the Cardinals’ next head coach needs to have a strong connection to both Bidwill and Ossenfort first. Bidwill will be his new boss and Ossenfort will be the one he is tasked with help rebuilding this team into a winner. Murray or not, this needs to be a long-term partnership in The Valley.

Regardless, an on-the-mend Murray does make the Cardinals’ vacancy far less attractive now.

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