Fans of the Arizona Cardinals may be witnessing the final days of Larry Fitzgerald’s magnificent career as an NFL wide receiver
The Arizona Cardinals had to have known that this time was coming. No NFL player, not even the outstanding ones, can stay around forever. Unfortunately, it appears that the Hall of Fame career of one of their very own could be nearing it’s end.
After four games, it’s becoming painfully obvious that the great Larry Fitzgerald is merely a shell of what he used to be. The production that the Cardinals have become so accustomed to with the wide receiver is severely lacking. There have even been dropped passes as of late, something that was virtually nonexistent during Fitzgerald’s first 14 campaigns in the league.
The former first-round draft pick’s performance through the first quarter of the 2018 schedule has been downright ordinary. Fitzgerald has hauled in 15 passes for 141 yards, with no touchdowns. The club’s all-time leading receiver is on pace to catch 60 balls for 564 yards, a big drop off from the impressive numbers Fitzgerald tallied in his heyday.
Nagging injuries have also affected the 11-time Pro Bowler’s play. Fitzgerald refuses to miss time, despite the fact that a bum hamstring has hindered him. Muscle pulls are a common occurrence for aging competitors, especially for those who have now reached their mid-30’s.
In fairness to Fitzgerald, quarterback Sam Bradford was plain awful during the Cards’ first three contests of ’18. As a matter of fact, the veteran’s diminished arm strength, and uncharacteristic inaccuracy, were a major problem for all of Arizona’s pass-catchers. Now that the rifle-armed Josh Rosen is the starter, perhaps Fitzgerald will make more of a contribution going forward.
Then again, it’s possible that the 35-year old wideout is just no longer a viable part of the organization. As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Even the amazing Fitzgerald must eventually hang up his cleats, and that day may be coming sooner rather than later.