The Falcons have had the health advantage most weeks this season, even drawing a rookie making his NFL debut in Will Levis and a Vikings team led by Josh Dobbs following an injury to Kirk Cousins.
That won’t be the case this week as the club travels to Arizona to take on the Cardinals before their bye week. The Falcons will face Kyler Murray, who is set to make his 2023 debut.
The Pro Bowl quarterback tore his ACL in a Week 14 game last year against the Patriots. The surgery and subsequent rehab forced him to miss 13 games total as he returns to a 1-8 Cardinals team.
In his final games with Kliff Kingsbury, Murray didn’t look like himself, averaging a career-low 6.1 yards per passing attempt with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions to go with a 3-8 record.
The Cardinals’ new regime with Jonathan Gannon and Monti Ossenfort will use the final eight games to assess the state of their quarterback position. Kyler Murray signed a massive extension recently, but Arizona will likely have an opportunity to land Caleb Williams or Drake Maye.
Fortunately for Murray, he might have one of his top weapons back too. According to Adam Schefter, the Falcons’ opponents have officially designated James Conner to return from the injured reserve list.
Cardinals officially designated RB James Conner to return from the injured reserve list. Conner can begin practicing today and the team can activate him to the 53-man roster any time during the next 21 days.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 8, 2023
There’s no guarantee that the former Pro Bowl running back will be activated before Sunday’s game, which the Falcons would likely prefer. Conner played in the Cardinals first five games, racking up 364 yards and two scores before a knee injury landed him on the injured reserve.
We’ll see if he’s healthy enough to strap up and give Kyler Murray another weapon.