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Kyler Murray Expected To Start Sunday Against Falcons

Gannon said quarterback will play as long as practice goes well

Kyler Murray is expected to start Sunday at quarterback against the Falcons.
Kyler Murray is expected to start Sunday at quarterback against the Falcons.

Jonathan Gannon wouldn't say it unequivocally -- saying his quarterback first needs to have a good week of practice -- but the coach did say Kyler Murray will start Sunday against the Falcons at State Farm Stadium, ending Murray's long rehab process and the equally long wait to see the quarterback return to the field.

"He'll take the 'One' reps and if all goes well, he'll start," Gannon said.

Murray will be activated from the Physically Unable To Perform list Wednesday, Gannon added.

"We have to be willing to understand it might not look like Kyler," Gannon said. "I think he has a good expectation of that, the coaches have a good expectation of that. I know this, he's going to come out there, play his game and help us win."

After Joshua Dobbs was traded to Minnesota, the Cardinals used rookie Clayton Tune at quarterback Sunday in Cleveland. Tune struggled with only 58 yards passing in a 27-0 loss, turning the ball over three times and being sacked seven times.

"It's a valuable learning experience for him, but we didn't do enough with the other guys in uniform to give us a chance in the game," Gannon said. "That doesn't solely land on Clayton. He'll continue to progress."

Murray should give the Cardinals a "a jolt of energy," Gannon said.

Gannon said he just wants to see Murray practice more, and see more examples of both the mental and physical strides the QB has made in his comeback. Getting him all the first-string reps is the last step in the process before seeing him in a game.

"He's always around and I know he wants to be out there," defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter said. "They are doing the best things for him to be out there -- that's kind of out my hands, I'm not an athletic trainer. But I know they are doing what they have to do to get him on the field, I know he wants to be on the field. When he does get out there, I know he'll be his best."

Gannon said the team was "sorting through" the injuries of offensive linemen D.J. Humphries and Will Hernandez, and that "hopefully" the team can open the practice window of running back James Conner, who is eligible to come off IR this week.

Murray has "embraced" walking the line between trying to lead but also working on his rehab.

"He's excited to get back into the huddle," Gannon said.