The Arizona Cardinals took the field for their Wednesday practice without one of their leaders.
Larry Fitzgerald, who has been slowed by a left hamstring injury, did not participate in the practice, but head coach Bruce Arians is hopeful that the seven-time Pro Bowler will be able to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“I want him resting (Wednesday), I don’t want him aggravating that thing again,” Arians said. “We’ll take that day-to-day.
“He wants to practice, I’m not letting him.”
Fitzgerald has been incredibly durable during his 10-year NFL career, missing only four of a possible 146 games. He did miss the fourth quarter of the Cardinals’ 25-21 win over Detroit last Sunday, but the rest of the receiving corps stepped up in his absence.
Should the injury not improve in time for Sunday’s game, Arians still has confidence in the group of receivers that will play.
“That’s the beauty of having interchangeable parts and when you train those guys all spring and all training camp to play three positions, they still have to learn two every game plan just because of injuries,” Arians said. “Andre (Roberts) knows all the spots, Kerry (Taylor) knows all the spots, so we can fill in — Jaron Brown is up to two spots now as a rookie — so we have good flexibility there.”
Carson Palmer, who has completed 10 passes to Fitzgerald through the team’s first two games, knows that a game without no. 11 makes the challenge of winning on the road even greater.
“Definitely more difficult, but I’m not thinking about that,” Palmer said. “I don’t think that’s the case, but any time you lose one of your playmakers, especially a player of his caliber, it makes it more difficult on the entire team.”
About the possibility of Fitzgerald playing Sunday without practicing at all beforehand?
“That totally depends on the player,” Arians said. “You better have a résumé and we fortunately have one that has a pretty good résumé.”