Cards' Murray taking rehab 'one day at a time,' no timetable for return

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray doesn't have a timetable for his return from an ACL injury he suffered on Dec. 12 but is taking his rehab and approach to making his 2023 debut "one day at a time."

Murray met with the media on Saturday for the first time since Dec. 7, 2022, days before he injured his right knee against the New England Patriots on "Monday Night Football" in Week 14 of last season. He said he's improving daily while also learning a new offense in the classroom and by taking mental reps on the field during training camp, which began earlier this week.

Even though it's a goal, Murray isn't sure a Week 1 return is possible, he said Saturday.

"Obviously, me being the competitor I am, do I want to miss any time? No," Murray said. "It's not on my mind, but we're not even in August yet. So, I'm taking it one day at a time."

Murray isn't sure how much practice time he'll need to get ready once he's able to return because "I've never dealt with this." He's been ramping up his running and is to the point where he can cut.

Getting to this point, however, hasn't been all that easy, Murray said.

He's had to continually navigate mental hurdles throughout his rehab. Murray needed a physical therapist to bend his knee for the first time because he was too scared to do it. There's been some hesitation whenever he reached a new milestone, such as in the weight room, where he was hesitant anytime he did anything new, including the first time he jumped.

"We're preparing the body, we're preparing the mind to be able to do those things," Murray said. "I do think the first time I'm out there maybe I might be [hesitant] but with the reps, I think the confident will grow and grow."

Murray doesn't believe he's fallen behind in learning the Cardinals' new offense even though he missed all of OTAs, minicamp and the first week of training camp. Part of his adjustment to new offensive coordinator Drew Petzing's scheme has been becoming more comfortable with a longer playcall.

"It is a lot more wordy than we've been accustomed to so it's getting there though," Murray said.

"I'm picking it up pretty fast, pretty well. I think the coaches would say so, as well. We're doing things to allow me, again, to learn faster. So, if I wasn't taking the reps mentally and just spitting it out, like at home, in the mirror, to the coaches, whatever it is, in the meetings, then, yeah, I'd probably be behind but the fact that we're on it and we're constantly doing it, it's been easy."

Murray said he's excited about going under center more in Petzing's offense, along with the idea that the Cardinals are planning on establishing the run more so than they have in the past.

"I believe we'll be able to run the ball a lot better, which will only be, you know, a weapon for us to be able to get under center, mix it up, won't be as predictable," Murray said. "And if you can run the ball, it makes everything a lot easier."

Murray said the first two weeks after he suffered the injury seven-and-a-half months ago were "hell, pretty much." It was the first time he had experienced an injury of that magnitude. Once the pain set in after surgery, Murray said it was something no one could have prepared for him. It was tough to sleep and not being able to move. He wasn't ready for needing someone to take care of him during the early stages of the injury when he was immobile.

"Once you go through it, or if you haven't gone through it, you don't really know what to expect," he said. "So, got better every day, though."