Fitzgerald has Grade 2 sprain, expected to play vs. Seattle

Larry Fitzgerald on Sunday became the second youngest receiver in NFL history to eclipse the 12,000-yard mark for his career. Only Randy Moss got there at a younger age.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has a Grade II MCL sprain in his left knee, coach Bruce Arians said at his Monday press conference. Arians said he expects Fitzgerald to play this week when the Cardinals travel to face their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks.

Fitzgerald showed up at the team’s practice facility on Monday for rehab, sporting a noticeable limp, but he, too, said after Sunday’s 14-6 win over the Lions that he expected to play.

"Everything’s good. Everything feels better when you get a win," he said.

Fitzgerald had two catches for 33 yards on Sunday, giving him 12,025 career receiving yards. At 31 years and 77 days, he became the second-youngest player to reach 12,000 yards. Randy Moss did it at the age of 30 years, 306 days.

Fitzgerald suffered the injury trying to make a catch in the second quarter against the Lions. He left the field for a medical examination but returned and played the entire second half.

Fitzgerald has a history of playing through injuries, but with a three-game lead in the NFC West standings (and on every team in the NFC by virtue of tiebreakers), it would make sense for the Cardinals to be cautious.

"We’ll see how sore he is Wednesday and how much it limits him and we’ll go from there," Arians said.    

Fitzgerald leads the Cardinals with 46 receptions for 658 yards. He has two TD receptions.

NIKLAS’ SEASON COULD BE OVER

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Arians confirmed that tight end Troy Niklas suffered another high-ankle sprain in his left ankle. It’s the same injury he suffered in Week 5 in Denver.

"We’ll continue to monitor that and see how long a loss of time that’s going to be," Arians said. "He’s very frustrated, and we all are for him because he was starting to get (on) a pretty good roll.

"He’s just been hampered all year with these things. Hopefully, it won’t end his season."

Niklas was the team’s second round pick (52nd overall) this year out of Notre Dame. Sports hernia surgery kept him off the field when he arrived, then he suffered a broken finger when he got his hand caught in a teammate’s jersey.

With just six games left in the season, it appears unlikely Niklas will play again this season, and he could undergo surgery.

Darren Fells will move into his No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind John Carlson and Rob Housler.

NO BREATHERS

Arians was asked how he would evaluate the rest of the Cardinals’ schedule. "Hard as hell," he said.

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The Cardinals face Seattle (6-4) twice, San Francisco (6-4), Kansas City (7-3), St. Louis (4-6), which has won three of its last five games over Seattle, San Francisco and Denver, and Atlanta (4-6), which leads the NFC South and must win its division to make the playoffs

QUICK HITTERS

 Quarterback Carson Palmer will have surgery on his torn left ACL on Tuesday.

— S Deone Bucannon was asked if he saw a 9-1 record coming. "Man, as a rookie, I didn’t see anything coming."

— Outside linebacker Matt Shaughnessy will start practicing again this week, Arians said. Shaughnessy is on the injured reserve, designated to return list with a knee injury. Shaughnessy last played in Week 5 against Denver. He is not eligible to play again until the Chiefs game on Dec. 7, per IR rules.

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