Josh Dobbs and Clayton Tune will man the quarterback position until Kyler Murray is healthy
2022 record: 4-13, last NFC West
Playoff picture: The Cardinals might need tickets to get inside the stadium of any postseason game this season. Given the roster rebuild and status of their star quarterback, missing the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons is expected.
Biggest Week 1 question: Arizona doesn’t have Kyler Murray (knee) and either journeyman Joshua Dobbs or rookie Clayton Tune will start against the Washington Commanders. Dobbs has made two NFL starts and Tune was a fifth-round draft choice. The Cardinals may be in a deep hole even before Murray recovers from his injury. He’ll miss at least four games.
What’s new: Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is the new coach after Kliff Kingsbury was dismissed after four seasons. Gannon faces a tough task as Arizona could be one of the NFL’s worst teams. Offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. was chosen with the sixth overall pick and could someday be a fixture. Linebacker Kyzir White was added as a free agent.
They’re gone: The Cardinals parted ways with receiver DeAndre Hopkins but released him after being unable to find a trade partner. Defensive end J.J. Watt, who did most of his starring for the Houston Texans, retired after last season. Defensive lineman Zach Allen and cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. both departed in free agency.
On the money: Murray is recovering from last December’s ACL tear that ended an underwhelming season. The former No. 1 overall pick needs to step up his play. Tight end Zach Ertz is nearly recovered from ACL and MCL tears last November but might not be ready for Week 1. Safety Budda Baker remains the best player on the team.
Get to know: Tune ran up big stats at Houston (11,994 yards, 104 touchdowns) and is 24 years old so he brings more poise to the table than most draft picks. The Cardinals haven’t decided whether he or Dobbs (just acquired from the Cleveland Browns) will start the opener but it figures the organization will want Tune to see some time on the field before Murray returns.
Tune’s play in training camp and preseason provided enough impetus for Arizona to release veteran Colt McCoy. Dobbs may start the season opener but Tune’s progress may help the Cardinals decide whether they want to part ways with Murray after the season.
Vegas says: BetMGM set the win total for Arizona at 4.5 (+100). The Cardinals could top it if Murray gets on a roll later in the season.