Kyler Murray feels his long injury lay-off has made him a stronger person as he prepares for his Arizona Cardinals return.
Quarterback Murray is set to start against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, 11 months to the day that he tore his ACL against the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.
It has been a long road back for the 26-year-old but he hopes it will prove beneficial in the long run.
“I feel like I gained a new level of resiliency with this,” Murray said. “I already felt like I had that chip on my shoulder, you know? Never out of anything, never down, always feel like I can win anything. But when you go through something like this, you find out really quick about who you are and what you’re about.”
Check out our other sports stories here:
Murray rejoins the Cardinals at a time when they need him most, having gone 1-13 in his absence.
He added: “There’s a couple of plays a game here or there where we just shoot ourselves in the foot.
“We’re really not that far off. Obviously, people may think we’re a bad football team. We’re not a bad football team. We got to clean some things up and we need to make more plays. And that’s what it comes down to, making plays.”
Arizona coach Jonathan Gannon has already tried to play down expectations, warning fans they shouldn’t expect to see the best Murray straight away but the Texan is confident of a strong return.
“I understand the thought process, but every time I touch the field, I’m trying to do my thing and that’s obviously win, but do it at a high level,” Murray said.
“I understand the thought process behind, ‘Hey, take it slow. Don’t be too hard on yourself,’ because I missed all the reps, I missed all the camp reps. I missed all pre-season.
“I’ve missed all this time. I hear what he’s saying, but that’s not in my head.
At the end of the day, the end goal was to get back and be me. So that’s what pushed me every single day. It wasn’t no external factors or motivational deals like that. It has to come within.”