TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals have more clarity on their quarterback situation less than two weeks before Week 1.
Kyler Murray won’t be activated off the physically unable to perform list before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline, Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said Monday.
Starting the season on the PUP list means Murray will miss at least the first four games of the regular season. Once he’s activated, he’ll have 21 days to practice and be put on the 53-man roster, otherwise he’ll have to spend the entire season on the PUP list.
The Cardinals also released quarterback Colt McCoy on Monday, a day before teams are required to narrow their roster to 53 players. The move comes four days after they traded for quarterback Joshua Dobbs. McCoy, the 36-year-old who signed with the Cardinals in 2021, was the first-team quarterback all spring, training camp and preseason while Arizona waited for Murray to return from ACL surgery.
Gannon said the Cardinals evaluated McCoy’s “full body of work” and decided it was in the best interest of Arizona to start the season without him.
“I don’t think it’s anything he didn’t show us,” Gannon said. “I think it was just looking at OTAs and then training camp and the games and the full body of work, we just feel like this is the best way to go.”
Murray injured his right knee in Week 14 last season on “Monday Night Football” and had surgery in early January. Murray had said previously that he wanted to be back by Week 1. He later said he didn’t want to miss any time but he also isn’t sure how much practice he’ll need before he’s ready to take a regular-season snap.
Should Murray miss at least the first four games, Gannon said the quarterback’s rehab approach won’t be altered.
“He’s got a plan that’s football related, and he’s got a plan that’s rehab related, and both are important, but obviously the plan that’s most important right now is his health,” Gannon said. “So, when we structure his day and his week and this last month with him, we plan accordingly for that.”
Gannon refused to name a starter on Monday between Dobbs and Tune, saying Arizona has a “pretty good plan in place” to decide who will be the first-team quarterback. Gannon wants to evaluate both quarterbacks in practice over the next two weeks before settling on one. Even then, though, he won’t announce the starter.
“I think it’s a competitive advantage for us going to Washington,” Gannon said. “But we’ll know who the starter is.”
Tune ran the second-team offense for the majority of the spring, all of camp and the preseason.
Dobbs, who came to Arizona from the Browns in a trade on Thursday, has a history working with current Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing and quarterbacks coach Israel Woolfork from their time last season in Cleveland.
The Cardinals had looked at signing Dobbs this past offseason, so they had already done their homework on him, Gannon said. When the opportunity to trade for him arose last week, they jumped at the chance.
Adding Dobbs gives the Cardinals a “mobile guy that understands the system” who can also make throws, and play in and out of the pocket, which is what Arizona was looking for, Gannon said.
Even though Gannon said that “it’s never easy for a new guy coming to a new team,” he’s comfortable with Dobbs potentially being the Week 1 starter without having played a game snap with the Cardinals.
That familiarity with Petzing’s scheme can be “very valuable,” Gannon said.
“Any position is hard to come in and play right away and guys do it all across the league,” Gannon said. “I think just his familiarity of the system, the verbiage, those two guys that are really the main guys coaching him, I think that obviously helps him a lot.”
Asked whether the Cardinals have made a decision whether or not to have a third quarterback active on game day, Gannon said: “We’re still sorting through it.”