Murray, who tore his ACL on Dec. 12, will start the 2023 regular season on the physically unable to perform list, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, meaning Murray will miss at least the first four games of the campaign.
The Cardinals also released Colt McCoy on Monday, the team announced. McCoy was thought by many earlier this offseason to be the leading candidate to be the team's Week 1 starting QB, so it appears Arizona and first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon will go with the recently acquired Josh Dobbs or rookie Clayton Tune. Speaking to reporters Monday, Gannon declined to name a starter for the regular-season opener at the Washington Commanders on Sept. 10.
"I'm not going to name a starter because I think it's a competitive advantage for us going to Washington, but we will know who the starter is," Gannon said.
Gannon added: "I think we have a plan in place, but I want to see them both play football still. This week we got some work, and then the following week, we got some work, but I feel good where we're at."
Murray has spent all of training camp and preseason action on PUP, where he doesn't occupy a roster spot and is afforded the time to fully recover from the ACL injury that cut his 2022 season short and required surgery. Based on the timing of his injury, it's fair to expect Murray to miss more than a month, too. Rapoport reported in January that Murray could miss as much as half of the 2023 season.
With Murray unavailable, Arizona's situation at quarterback is less than ideal, but it remains intriguing. McCoy entered the preseason as the expected replacement for Murray, but the Cardinals ruled that out when they released him on Monday. Arizona acquired Dobbs via trade with the Browns last week, bringing him over to a Cardinals offense coordinated by Drew Petzing, Dobbs' former quarterbacks coach in Cleveland. Dobbs hasn't been with the team for very long, but it appears the Cardinals feel comfortable enough to proceed with either him or Tune, who saw preseason action with McCoy.
"Tough," Gannon said of the decision to release McCoy. "Colt's awesome -- he's a true pro's pro, that's why he's played so long. Having gone through this process in a different seat a lot of times, it's a little bit different today because it's hard. You know that they care, they put a lot of sacrifice and hard work into their craft. Ultimately, I think if you're honest with them, they appreciate that. They know that we're going to do what we have to do try and do what's best for the team. These are tough days."
Dobbs has familiarity with stepping into an offense and quickly making the best of it. Last season, Tennessee signed him from Detroit's practice squad and quickly turned to him, naming Dobbs the Titans' Week 17 and 18 starter less than two weeks after joining the team.
He might need these skills again to help the Cardinals before Murray returns.