Jonathan Gannon: When Kyler Murray’s ready to play, he’ll play

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The Cardinals’ new coaching staff faces some challenges, namely that starting quarterback Kyler Murray isn’t likely to be ready for the start of the season.

Murray underwent surgery Jan. 3 to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, so he’s not even two months into his rehab.

“We’re going to build the offense around Kyler, and then when he’s ready to play, he’s going to play,” Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said Tuesday. “But we’ll fit in a couple of different things that we want to do to maximize his skill set, and then whoever ends up playing, we’ll tailor fit it around who’s playing for us to start the year.”

Murray began his rehab outside the team facility but now is working at Dignity Health Training Center. Gannon recently told a story about seeing a “nice” car in the parking lot at 9 p.m. one night. Intrigued, he went back in to see whose car it was and found Murray doing an evening rehab session.

“I told Kyler I’m not going to rush him back, because part of what makes Kyler so elite are his legs,” Gannon said. “When he’s ready to play, he’ll play. I don’t know exactly the timetable right now. Everyone heals a little bit differently. Everyone comes back from rehab a little differently. And everyone’s different in that aspect. I like the plan where he’s at. I like what he’s doing right now to get himself ready to go. The guy is attacking his rehab. He wants to be out there as fast as he can, as soon as he’s ready. Then, we’ll put him out there. If he’s not ready to go, we’ll have a plan in place to play and win games with who we have playing quarterback for us.”

Murray’s presence in the team facility has given new offensive coordinator Drew Petzing a chance to talk to Murray as he works on the playbook. Petzing had a similar situation last year with Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games, which didn’t become official until Aug. 18.

Colt McCoy, who underwent a “minor” procedure this offseason, likely will start the season. But Murray will return at some point, and the Cardinals are hoping it’s sooner than later.

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