Cardinals on the mend: Kyle Murray to start Week 10 vs. Falcons; James Conner reportedly executed off IR

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The face of the Arizona Cardinals franchise is back, as two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Kyler Murray makes his 2023 season debut in Week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons. The Cardinals were expected to start Murray in Week 10 if this week of practice went well, and it clearly has.

“Yeah, Kyler is going to start,” Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon said Friday.

In addition to Murray, Arizona also returns another star player this week. The Cardinals activated running back James Conner on Saturday and placed him on the 53-man roster, according to NFL Media. That means he will return to Arizona’s backfield on Sunday as well. The club officially announced running back James Conner to return from injured reserve this week and Gannon gave some details on the veteran’s status for Week 10 when he spoke to reporters on Friday.

“We’ll see how he does today, but moving in the right direction,” Gannon said. “He’s our workhorse in the run game, so it would be nice to have him back. Not only does it help Kyler, it helps the team us.”

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Conner was placed on IR a month ago after suffering a knee injury during Arizona’s Week 5 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. In five games this season, Conner has rushed 68 times for 364 yards and two touchdowns, and caught eight passes for 30 yards.

Although the Cardinals own what is statistically the No. 8 rushing offense in the league (127.0 yards rushing per game), they didn’t have their top two rushers on the field last week. Conner remains Arizona’s leading rusher on the year despite missing the last four games, and then quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who rushed for 258 yards in eight games for the Cardinals, was dealt to the Minnesota Vikings at the trade deadline. Emari Demercado has been Conner’s primary replacement, and has rushed for a total of 195 yards this season.

At 1-8, the Cardinals remain in last place in the NFC West. They are one of two one-win teams in the NFL, along with the Carolina Panthers (1-8), and as it stands they would have the number two pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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