Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who returned from COVID Saturday, is going to be eased in to practice this week while he progresses to optimal health. He mostly watched Colt McCoy and Trace McSorley run the first team offense on Monday at training camp.
"Hopefully, by the end of the week, he'll feel good enough to cut it loose and keep it rolling. But we want to be smart," head coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Murray. He added that Murray is feeling fine after having COVID and since working out before Saturday's practice.
It's not clear if Murray will play even a little in Friday's preseason opener at Cincinnati, but early indications this week make that seem unlikely. He has also dealt with wrist soreness from early in camp.
Murray missed five days of practice last week in accordance with league protocol, but there doesn't seem to be any concern that the missed practice time will create a need for him to catch up to the rest of the offense.
"If he hadn't been in the same system for the number of years, I would be a bit more concerned. Anytime you're trying to build your offense and build camaraderie and get the timing down, you'd love for him to be out there," Kingsbury said. "But everybody deals with something like this. And we've kept him locked in mentally, and he'll continue to do that."
Checking in on the O-line
The Cardinals' starting offensive line is shaping up to be D.J. Humphries at left tackle, Justin Pugh at left guard, Rodney Hudson at center, newcomer Will Hernandez at right guard and Kelvin Beachum at right tackle.
Hudson hasn't practiced much in training camp but was on the field Monday. The Cardinals don't feel the need to rush to get him ready for the season, and feel he and quarterback Kyler Murray have a good rapport.
"It's money in the bank when you've got a center this experienced, right? And he's seen every look, nothing really surprises. He can adapt," offensive line coach Sean Kugler said of Hudson. "I listen to the players and especially somebody with his experience."
Tackles Josh Jones and Josh Miles will get most of the preseason work, Kugler said. Jones, a former third-round draft pick in 2020, started 12 games last season as a guard, but tackle is his natural position, Kugler said.
"Last year he was one of our best five (linemen). He was out of position at guard last year. He's a future starter here at tackle. He could start this year," Kugler said.
To the Maxx
A jovial Maxx Williams spoke with reporters Monday after practice. Williams is practicing, if only on a limited basis after being activated from the physically-unable-to-perform list last week.
Williams suffered a torn ACL in a game last October. He wasn't sure when he would come off the PUP list, but felt ready to take the next step in his rehabilitation.
"When the injury happened, that sucked. But great family, great wife, everyone stuck by my side. We took it day by day. Obviously, I stayed engaged as best I could during the season. And this offseason, it was going to work everyday rehabbing and trying to get to this point where we're at now."
Kingsbury called Williams one of the best blocking tight ends he's ever seen or been around. As a receiver, he caught 16 of 17 passes thrown his way last season before the injury.
"Can obviously do stuff in the pass game, as you saw last year," Kingsbury said. "Coming off that injury we want to be smart with how we utilize him and really play to his strengths."
The plan for wide receiver Marquis "Hollywood" Brown this week, coming off a hamstring injury and his recent arrest and subsequent same-day release, started with some activity in individual drills on Monday. Kingsbury hopes Brown will be at full speed by Wednesday.
The team won't issue any discipline to Brown, as Kingsbury said he will leave that to the NFL.
• Kingsbury said the Cardinals medical staff is waiting for the groin/hip injury to wide receiver Antoine Wesley to settle down. Wesley has been out since late last week. The team will then decide if Wesley can rehabilitate the injury and return to the field, or if surgery will be required.
• Outside of Byron Murphy at a cornerback and hybrid position, Kingsbury on Monday reiterated that second-year player Marco Wilson has to take hold of a starting position at cornerback. Kingsbury also said that veteran Antonio Hamilton has impressed in camp, but the Cardinals need a young defensive back to step up in the preseason and provide needed depth. There are six other cornerbacks in camp at present.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Cardinals won't rush quarterback Kyler Murray back into full practice