Kyler Murray undergoes successful ACL surgery: 'I'll be back'

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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has undergone surgery to repair the torn ACL in his right knee, a procedure that both he and head coach Kliff Kingsbury said went smoothly.

Murray made the announcement on Wednesday via social media while posting a picture of himself smiling in a hospital bed.

"ACL surgery was successful, thank you for all the love and prayers," Murray wrote. "I appreciate the support and positivity more than I can express. I'll be back."

Murray will now begin the process of rehabbing his knee in the hope of being ready for the start of the 2023 season, which is not a certainty considering the timing of the surgery. The two-time Pro Bowler was injured in Arizona's Week 14 loss to the New England Patriots on December 12.

Kingsbury told reporters on Wednesday the Cardinals are planning as if Murray will not be cleared in time for the 2023 opener, which he said went into the decision to hold out back-up quarterback Colt McCoy for Sunday's finale against NFC West champions the San Francisco 49ers.

McCoy had missed Arizona's previous two games with a concussion he sustained at the Denver Broncos on December 18.

Kingsbury said David Blough will make a second straight start at quarterback for Sunday's contest.

"It was tough," Kingsbury said about the decision to shut McCoy down. "He wanted to play, and it's just in our situation with probably not having Kyler start the year, it's the right thing to do."

Blough, signed off the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad following Murray's injury, completed 24 of 40 passes for 222 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions at Atlanta last week, a 20-19 Cardinals defeat that extended their losing streak to six games.

Arizona enter Sunday's finale with a 4-12 record one year after making the playoffs with an 11-6 mark. Murray himself had a down year, as the former Heisman Trophy winner's passer rating fell from 100.6 in 2021 to 87.2 this season, and his 6.1 yards per pass attempt is the lowest of 33 qualifying quarterbacks.

"I think it can be kind of a reset for him," Kingsbury said of Murray’s offseason rehab. "We know we had our struggles this year offensively and we feel like we can play at a much higher level, and I think he understands that he can build himself back better and attack this thing. And I think that's how he's viewing it.

"It's kind of a reset and where he takes it now, it's kind of how what’s going to define his career."