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Vipers quarterback Aaron Murray to miss Saturday’s game in Seattle

His injury means backup Taylor Cornelius will receive his first XFL snaps, sharing time with Quinton Flowers.
Tampa Bay Vipers quarterback Taylor Cornelius warms up before last week's XFL opener at the New York Guardians. [STEVE LUCIANO  |  AP]
Tampa Bay Vipers quarterback Taylor Cornelius warms up before last week's XFL opener at the New York Guardians. [STEVE LUCIANO | AP]
Published Feb. 14

Tampa Bay Vipers quarterback Aaron Murray will miss the team’s second game of the season Saturday in Seattle.

Murray, who hasn’t practiced this week after playing through a first-half foot injury in the Vipers’ 23-3 Week 1 loss to the New York Guardians, is listed as out on the team’s injury report released Friday.

His absence will mark an opportunity for 24-year-old quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who is expected to split playing time with USF product Quinton Flowers when the Vipers face Seattle. The quarterbacks shared reps throughout the week of practice.

Cornelius threw for nearly 3,800 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior at Oklahoma State in 2018, his only season as a college starter. Though Cornelius is behind Murray on the depth chart, his size (6-foot-6) and arm draw notice on the practice field.

Related: Vipers quarterback Quinton Flowers could face fellow USF alum B.J. Daniels

Flowers gave the Vipers some spark in last week’s game, but the team is expected to continue to use him in a variety of roles and not exclusively at quarterback to take advantage of his speed and athleticism.

Each quarterback offers a different skills set. Cornelius is a traditional dropback passer, while Flowers can use his feet as a weapon.

Murray struggled in his XFL debut, throwing two first-half interceptions inside the opponent’s 30-yard line. The former Plant High standout finished with 231 yards on 16 for 34 passing as the Vipers failed to score a touchdown, going 0-for-4 in the red zone.

Despite those struggles, coach Marc Trestman said Murray would retrain first-team reps once he returns to practice.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard

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