Fitzgerald sits out practice; Cards think he'll play

Fitzgerald held out of Wednesday, Thursday practices due to hamstring; Cards think he'll play Sunday.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Larry Fitzgerald was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday after re-aggravating a hamstring injury in Sunday's 25-21 win over the Lions at University of Phoenix Stadium.

"I want him resting today. I do not want him aggravating that thing again," coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday. "We'll take that day to day. He wants to practice. I'm not letting him."

It's impossible to say whether Fitzgerald will play this week and he could be limited in the game, but both Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer seemed to think that he would play on Sunday when the team opens a two-game road trip in New Orleans.

When Palmer was asked about preparing to play without Fitzgerald, he said if he knew a guy was going to miss a game, he’d prefer to get extra reps with the backup. But, he added, “that’s not the case with Larry.” 

Fitzgerald stayed outside the team's practice bubble during much of the open portion of practice on Wednesday with injured linebacker Kevin Minter (hamstring) and running back Rashard Mendenhall, who was riding a stationary bike. Mendenhall was limited by a hamstring injury last week, but was listed with a toe injury Wednesday. 

On Thursday, Fitzgerald took part in some special teams drills but was still officially listed as "did not practice."

When asked Thursday about the school of thought that says it might be wise for him to sit out a week to make sure the injury doesn't linger, Fitzgerald quipped: "I've never been to that school."

With Fitzgerald out of Sunday's game late, the Cardinals manufactured a game-winning touchdown drive with just two receivers on the roster who had ever caught an NFL regular-season pass: Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd. The other receivers were rookies Jaron Brown and Kerry Taylor, who was elevated from the practice squad one day before the game.

"It gives them great confidence that it's not B.S. when you say 'The next man up,'" Arians said. "It's going to happen again. Somebody else is going to get hurt. And it's going to happen during a ballgame. That (next) guy has to be ready."  

Fitzgerald has only missed four games in his nine-plus NFL seasons. The Cardinals are 1-3 in those games. On Thursday, he insisted he is fine will be ready for the game in New Orleans where the offense may need him all the more in a noisy, road environment. 

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