Yesterday was the day that many Arizona Cardinals’ fan had been predicting and hoping for.
Yes, indeed, Kyler Murray, for the first time since last December, is on the practice field, having been designated to return from the PUP list.
Now, Kyler has a three-week window to be activated to the 53-man roster with the goal of preparing himself to start his first game of the season.
Thie task is a daunting one —- not only in testing how well his knee holds up throughout the practices, but in trying to perfect the nuances and the requisite footwork of Drew Petzing’s pro-style offense —- one that will put Kyler under center more often than he’s ever been at any time in his career —- and one that will feature a play action passing game that is designed on occasion to enable Kyler to maneuver away from the standard pocket via bootlegs and waggles.
Yesterday, here is how the news of Kyler’s and Budda Baker’s return was delivered by Jonathan Gannon:
Kyler Murray and Budda Baker are back! pic.twitter.com/yUKJaBoL60— PHNX Cardinals (@PHNX_Cardinals) October 18, 2023
“We’ve got to see do a lot of things, but I know he’s excited to get out there and start playing some football.”— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) October 18, 2023
Jonathan Gannon says QB Kyler Murray has to catchup on the new Arizona Cardinals offense, but is ready to go.@PHNX_Cardinals | #BirdGang pic.twitter.com/pp2OzH55Sh
Kyler’s return to the field:
Kyler Murray’s first pass in his return to Arizona Cardinals practice pic.twitter.com/2JruJjs1Zn— PHNX Cardinals (@PHNX_Cardinals) October 18, 2023
Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray looks to be talking footwork with practice squad QB Jeff Driskel and QB coach Israel Woolfork.— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) October 18, 2023
Foot work is essential in Drew Petzing’s offense.@PHNX_Cardinals | #BirdGang pic.twitter.com/YTMJuIeWuW
Kyler’s Return Made for Hollywood?
Perhaps, no one is more excited to see Kyler Murray practicing again than Hollywood Brown. Hollywood had been pointing to this day for weeks now.
Much is at stake for Hollywood over the next few months. For the first time in his career, he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. His name has been mentioned in a number of potential trading deadline trades. The trading deadline is in 12 days (Oct. 31st).
Many fans expect Kyler Murray to be ready to play versus the Falcons at home on November 12th —- which is 24 days (and basically 9 practices) from today.
While Jonathan Gannon has emphasized how cautious they intend to be with Kyler and how it is going to take some time to get Kyler assimilated into the offense —- if there is every intention of Kyler starting a few weeks down the road, it would be hard to imagine that Monti Ossenfort would entertain trade offers for Hollywood.
If Hollywood and Kyler build on the kind of chemistry they had at Oklahoma and at times with the Cardinals last season, then there’s a decent chance the Cardinals will want to keep the tandem as teammates for years to come.
As Hollywood said, Kyler is coming back to prove a point.
Budda is Back!
Many fans are hoping that Garrett Williams and Budda Baker will play this week versus the Seahawks at Lumen Field. What a boon that could be for a Cardinals’ defense that has given up 51 second half points over the past three games, while only forcing 1 second half punt in each of the three lopsided losses.
That hamstring is looking pretty dang good!
Of course, the question about Budda is whether he will still be an Arizona Cardinal come the end of October. His name is among the most talked about trade targets in thew NFL right now.
The Cardinals have been reeling —- thus the news of Kyler’s and Budda’s return has come at a very good time and can well serve as a much-needed boost.
When you look in your crystal ball, what are you seeing with regard to Kyler, Budda and Hollywood?