The Arizona Cardinals are set to get their top playmaker back Sunday when quarterback Kyler Murray makes his long-awaited return to game action after tearing his ACL on Dec. 12, 2022 against New England.
In the 332 days since that non-contact injury, the Cardinals have limped their way to a 1-12 record, including losing eight of their first nine contests this season with a hodgepodge of quarterbacks filling in for Murray. As a result, the Cardinals Super Bowl odds are last in the NFL.
Ahead of Sunday’s game against 4-5 Atlanta, BetArizona.com took a look at how Murray has fared when returning from injuries in his NFL career.
When Murray Returns from Injury
Oddsmakers at ESPN BET Arizona list the Cardinals as 2-point home underdogs against Atlanta on Sunday.
Murray Returning from Injury for Third Time
In the two games where Murray returned to the field after missing at least one game to injury, he’s averaged 157 passing yards with four total touchdowns through the air, to go with 57.5 yards average on the ground and three total scores.
The Cardinals have gone 1-1 in those games, falling to the L.A. Chargers, 25-24, in 2022, while beating the Chicago Bears, 33-22, in 2021 after Murray suffered an ankle sprain. No matter how Murray performs, his return is sure to spark renewed Arizona sports betting interest in the team.
Murray also suffered in-game injuries in 2019 (hamstring sprain) and 2020 (shoulder sprain), but did not miss any game action.
Can Murray Return Like Burrow?
One player Murray can look to when coming back is Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow, who tore his ACL as a rookie in 2020, only to come back as a one-man tour de force.
Burrow was able to throw for 4,611 yards (288.2 per game), with 34 touchdowns to 14 interceptions the year after his injury, leading the Bengals all the way to the Super Bowl, where they fell to the Rams, 23-20.
In his first game back from injury (Week 1 of the 2021 regular season), Burrow threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns (to zero interceptions) on 20-of-27 passing (74.1%), guiding the Bengals to a 27-24 overtime win over Minnesota. Arizona betting apps list Burrow with the fifth-best MVP odds this season at +750.
Safe to say, if Murray can play to that level down the stretch (and in 2024), Cardinals fans will be more than willing to write off the team’s struggles during the quarterback’s rehab process.