Kenneth Murray is one of the most exciting players on the LA Chargers. The Bolts traded up for the inside linebacker in the 2020 NFL Draft and he is the definition of a downhill, uber-athletic inside linebacker.
He had naturally hiccups in pass coverage as a rookie but as got better and better as the season went along. Murray became a true leader on the defensive side of the ball and it is safe to say that Murray has Pro Bowl potential as early as year two.
Part of Murray’s improvement in year two could be caused by the linebacker not having to deal with any lingering injuries. Murray had surgery on his shoulder in January and confirmed in a press conference on Tuesday that he has not yet been fully cleared to participate in practice.
In the same press conference, Murray stated that it was an injury rooted from his days at Oklahoma and that is carried into his rookie season in 2020.
Kenneth Murray said he’s spent most of the offseason rehabbing from his January shoulder surgery. He has not been fully cleared but he said he feels like he is 100% and could play a game tomorrow if he needed to. “I’m ready to put on the pads right now.”
— Guilty As Charged Podcast (@GACPodcast17) June 1, 2021
The LA Chargers need to be as cautious as possible with Kenneth Murray
While Murray may feel 100% as it stands today, the LA Chargers are absolutely right to be as cautious as possible with the second-year linebacker. Murray is the leader of the linebacker room and him potentially having a setback would be a massive loss for the Chargers.
As a second-year player, there is no reason for the Chargers to rush Murray. He is still going to get ample time to get into season shape and will have a preseason for the first time in his career to get him up to speed. Risking any sort of injury for a June practice would simply be malpractice.
You would not be able to tell that Murray had a shoulder issue last season as he was still one of the hardest-hitting rookies in recent memory. One can only imagine the kind of blow he can put on opposing ball carriers when he does not have to worry about hurting his shoulder. Simply having the freedom of mind is huge for a young player like Murray.
This is absolutely nothing for Charger fans to worry about and in fact, this Chargers news should be positive news. Positive in the sense that Murray currently feels 100% and there are no early setbacks and positive in the sense that Murray is perhaps destined for an even bigger step up in year two.
Kenneth Murray should take all the time he needs to rest up that shoulder as he will soon be carrying the LA Chargers linebacker room on his shoulders during the season.