Arizona Cardinals wideout is still their heart and soul
By Jim Koch
Arizona Cardinals great Larry Fitzgerald proved he has plenty left in the tank this past Sunday against the Detroit Lions
When it was announced that Larry Fitzgerald would return for a 16th season in 2019, fans of the Arizona Cardinals didn’t know what to expect. It goes without saying that the 11-time Pro Bowler would still be a valuable presence in the club’s locker room. Still, one had to wonder if the sensational Fitzgerald would still be able to contribute to the Cards at the ripe old age of 36.
Any doubts about whether one of the greatest wide receivers in the NFL history could still play were put to rest this past Sunday. Fitzgerald’s performance during Arizona’s 27-27 tie with the Detroit Lions was downright scintillating. In fact, what the legend did in the squad’s season-opener was reminiscent of the player who led the Cardinals on their Super Bowl run 11 years ago.
When his team needed him most, Fitzgerald came through with one of the most exciting outings of his career versus the Lions. Cards rookie quarterback Kyler Murray knew exactly who to look for when a big play was required. Fitzgerald was up for the challenge, just as he had been for a variety of other Arizona signal-callers over the years.
There was a 41-yard strike from Murray to the 6’3, 218 pounder that led to a Zane Gonzalez field goal with 11:09 left to go in the fourth quarter. A four-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald helped tie the contest with 43 seconds to go in regulation. There was also a 45-yard bomb that the most productive pass-catcher in Cardinals history hauled in that helped set up a go-ahead field goal in overtime.
Fitzgerald’s stat line at the end of the day was an impressive one. The third-overall selection of the 2004 draft totaled eight receptions for 113 yards and the previously-mentioned score during the matchup with Detroit. Fitzgerald was also targeted a team-high 13 times, an indication of the confidence that Murray already has in the Cards superstar.
It appears that anyone who thought that Fitzgerald was on the decline was sadly mistaken. Many athletes who reach their mid-30s become a shell of what they once were. Fitzgerald is blatant proof that age is nothing but a number.