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Recent division rival trade could mean Rams avoid matchup against a star quarterback

Cardinals trade for Josh Dobbs could mean Rams avoid Kyler Murray

NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoffs-Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams could avoid a starting quarterback within their division early on in the 2023 NFL season. On Thursday, the Arizona Cardinals sent a fifth-round pick in a trade for quarterback Joshua Dobbs and a seventh-round pick to the Cleveland Browns. Dobbs adds insurance for the Cardinals as they deal with uncertainty at the quarterback position, especially as it pertains to Kyler Murray.

After tearing his ACL last December, Murray’s status for Week 1 has remained up in the air. Currently, the Cardinals are looking at Colt McCoy or Clayton Tune as their starting quarterback. However, the trade for Dobbs could mean the Cardinals are leaning on keeping Murray on the PUP list entering the season.

The significance of that is that Murray would have to remain on the PUP list for the first four weeks of the season. The Rams don’t play the Cardinals until Week 6, but that doesn’t mean that Murray wouldn’t miss that game. Once Murray is on the PUP list for four weeks, Arizona would have a five-week window to allow him to practice. Once he begins practicing, the Cardinals have a three-week window to decide to place him on the 53-man roster.

In this case, would the Cardinals rush Murray back to play right away or give him a few weeks of practice to settle in? In any case, if Murray is placed on the PUP list, the Rams game would be one of, if not his first live snaps in action since last December.

The situation surrounding Murray adds to more quarterback uncertainty for Rams opponents early on in the season. With Joe Burrow’s calf injury this offseason, there is some uncertainty on how ready he will be early in the season. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had said that he would rather see Burrow healthy than rush back to play.

Burrow will likely be ready by Week 2 and may even play Week 1. However, if the Rams avoided Burrow and Murray in the first six weeks, it could be some early season “luck” in the middle of a very difficult schedule.