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No Practice For Kyler Murray, But Potential Path To Play

Kingsbury said quarterback doesn't have to get on field to go against 49ers

Quarterback Kyler Murray will see if he can play with an ankle injury in San Francisco.
Quarterback Kyler Murray will see if he can play with an ankle injury in San Francisco.

Kyler Murray walked into the press conference room in the Dignity Health Training Center, turned to a reporter and asked, "Why are you looking at my feet?"

The Cardinals quarterback knew the answer of course. His ankle is the big story around the team this week, even bigger than the Cards trying to rebound from their first loss of the season. (He looked normal as he arrived, wearing socks and slides.)

Murray did not practice Wednesday. But both he and coach Kliff Kingsbury reiterated Murray's day-to-day status, and Kingsbury said that at this point in Murray's career, he would be OK with Murray playing against the 49ers in San Francisco even if he didn't practice at all for the week.

"He has got that type of ability," Kingsbury said. "If it was earlier in his career, probably not. His understanding of the system now and some of the pieces that we have around him, I feel good about that."

Murray, although saying last week he didn't like the shortened and light week of practice for a Thursday game because he liked to rep out the game plan full speed before a game, agreed that he could play with mental reps and knowledge of the game plan even if he doesn't get on the field.

Kingsbury said there was "no doubt" the Murray's status Sunday would come down to a game-day decision.

Murray said he stayed off the ankle on Wednesday. Actually being able to run in a game is not crucial, he acknowledged, but being able to move would be.

"I don't need to run," Murray said. "There is a difference between running and protecting yourself, and you can't just be a sitting duck in the pocket."

Murray added that if he went on the field Wednesday, he could protect himself in that regard, a seemingly positive sign.

As for the idea that Murray could play at less than 100 percent but Kingsbury could still hold him out as a precaution, Kingsbury smiled.

"You want to have that conversation with him?" Kingsbury said. "I get what you're getting at. There's a fine line you walk there. It's a 17-game season, you've got to be smart, we've got some big games coming up. We'll do what's best for the organization and for what's best for him."

But Kingsbury acknowledged Murray's competitiveness would be a factor in such a conversation, and Murray himself didn't sound like a player who would want to sit just to be safe.

"He'd be looking out for my health," Murray said. "We'd collaborate on that decision. But that's not the case, so …"

The interactions with backup Colt McCoy have not changed, Murray said, other than McCoy checking up on Murray to see how he is feeling. McCoy would get the start if Murray cannot go.

The 7-1 Cardinals are in a better spot to survive Murray's absence than they were a year ago too, something Murray understands/

"It's a better team in general which means if I'm not there then yeah, we are better equipped to handle me not being there," he said.

Murray was already frustrated at the end of the Packers' loss, both with his injury and the way the game ended with an end zone interception. The QB also has never been a big fan of talking about his health status, and he chuckled when asked if he was frustrated it was essentially the only topic Wednesday.

"For any player, any person, you don't want to be in that position," Murray said. "You want to play as free as possible. It's football, it's what we do for a living, and it is what it is."

The best photos from the Cardinals' 24-21 loss to the Packers Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season