Larry Fitzgerald will miss his first game in six years due to COVID-19
Larry Fitzgerald has been the staple of healthy and productive since entering the league in 2004. However, for the first time since 2014, he will be out of commission.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Fitzgerald will be out for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots after testing positive for COVID-19. The Cardinals are expected to place him on the COVID-19/reserve list.
The Cardinals offense has taken leaps forward thanks to the emergence of second-year quarterback Kyler Murray. On top of that, Fitzgerald has taken the backseat thanks to the development of Christian Kirk and the acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins this offseason.
In 10 games this season, Fitzgerald has tallied 43 catches for 336 yards and has yet to score a touchdown.
Is this a big loss for the Cardinals?
Fitzgerald was coming off one of his most productive games of this season against the Seattle Seahawks. He hauled in eight receptions for 62 yards with a season-high 10 targets. Meanwhile, Hopkins and Kirk actually played second fiddle behind both Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds.
Perhaps what’s even more impressive than Fitz’s recent health is his all-time numbers. The future Hall of Fame receiver has missed just six games during a 17-year career. Throw in his career numbers of 1,421 catches, 17,419 receiving yards and 80 touchdowns, Canton will be calling whenever he elects to hang up the cleats for good.
Murray will now have to rely heavily on his tight ends Dan Arnold and Darrell Daniels, who combined have hauled in two touchdowns. Meanwhile, although New England has regressed in pass coverage, they do rank in the top five of interceptions with 15. J.C. Jackson currently is tied for league lead with five picks through 10 games.
In a battle for playoff contention, the Cardinals will need this win to remain in the hunt. Here’s hoping Fitzgerald’s absence won’t hurt the overall passing game.