Kyler Murray Injury Report: How Cardinals QB Being A Game-Time Decision Impacts Fantasy

Kyler Murray Injury Report: How Cardinals QB Being A Game-Time Decision Impacts Fantasy article feature image

Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (ankle) is officially listed as questionable and considered a game-time decisions for Sunday's matchup against the 49ers.

Given his ankle injury, should you start him if he's active? And how would his absence impact his teammates if he's ruled out? I review the latest updates and project what fantasy football managers should expect below.

Click the dropdown to expand more details on his injury

Kyler Murray Injury Report

Latest status (as of Saturday): Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters on Friday that if Murray is healthy enough to continue playing at a "high level" from the pocket, the quarterback will play on Sunday against the 49ers.

Murray was listed as a "DNP" on all three practice reports this week.

Earlier update (as of Thursday): Murray was injured after tossing a late interception that iced last week's game in the Cardinals' upset loss to the Packers on Thursday night.

He sprained his ankle and was spotted in a walking boot leaving the stadium. Since the injury occurred very late in the game, it did not impact his performance: He completed 22-of-33 attempts for 274 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions and recorded six carries for 21 yards and finished a season-worst QB26 for fantasy.

There was initial optimism that Murray, who was listed as day-to-day, would not miss any time, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero — especially with the additional days of rest. However, the former first overall draft pick has now missed consecutive practices this week, which could just be the Cardinals exercising an abundance of caution with their star signal-caller. Still, an ankle injury to a mobile quarterback with back-to-back DNPs warrants scrutiny for fantasy purposes.

All eyes will be on Friday's practice, in which Murray will need to record at least a limited session to assuage managers' concerns for Week 9. 

Prior to Week 8, Murray had been playing MVP-caliber football and is currently QB6 averaging 23.1 fantasy points per game. He was the top fantasy quarterback in 2020 through 16 weeks.

Worry-o-meter: 4 out of 5.

Fantasy Outlook If Active

If active, Murray is a top-tier QB1 and belongs in 100% of fantasy lineups.

The Cardinals have a favorable Week 9 matchup versus the 49ers, who are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, and Murray is an absolute stud when healthy.

Fantasy Outlook If Inactive

Backups Colt McCoy and Chris Streveler are listed as second- and third-string, respectively, on the Cardinals' depth chart. McCoy would likely get the start if Murray cannot dress for Sunday's game in San Francisco, which would be a titanic downgrade for this entire offense.

The veteran was most recently a member of the Giants backing up Daniel Jones. McCoy appeared in four games (two starts) for the G-Men and completed 40-of-66 (60.6%) attempts for 375 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He would be in the low-end QB2 conversation solely based on his weapons and the positive matchup.

McCoy starting would hurt the Arizona pass-catchers most significantly.

I would expect lower production from receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore (A.J. Green is on the COVID-19/reserve list) and tight end Zach Ertz. Running backs Chase Edmonds and James Conner would also be downgraded, though to a lesser extent.

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