GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals receiver Kerry Taylor likely always dreamed of making his first NFL reception, though chances are he never pictured it being thrown by a defensive back.
However, that’s exactly what happened, as Patrick Peterson’s toss to Taylor down the sideline accounted for 17-yards, and a memorable moment.
“I didn’t even think about it, but it was brought to my attention that it was my first catch in the NFL thrown by a corner,” Taylor said after Arizona’s 25-21 win over Detroit. “I got to thank Pat on that one.”
Taylor, who was not activated from the practice squad until Saturday, caught three passes for 40 yards on the afternoon. His receptions led to first downs and helped keep drives alive, and his overall play allowed the Cardinals to withstand the loss of Larry Fitzgerald, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury.
“Take a guy off of practice squad, I think he had four or five catches, critical ones,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said of Taylor.
That Taylor came in and played well should not come as a huge surprise, as the 24-year-old Arizona State product had a strong training camp and preseason for the team. But then again, one would think it would be rather difficult to fill in for a perennial Pro Bowler like Fitzgerald.
But Fitzgerald said he had total confidence in his replacement.
“I knew he was prepared mentally, physically and psychologically to go out there and play well,” he said.
Quarterback Carson Palmer almost seemed to be in awe of Taylor’s performance.
“The way Kerry came in and made some really nice catches, the key blocks, the running game, and to be on practice squad and make the plays he did,” he said.
For Taylor, though, it all worked out for the best. Though his road has been a long and winding one, he was able to record his first NFL receptions in the very state he grew up on, with family and friends in the stands watching.
And of course, it all happened in a win.
“Got my number called a couple times and just happy the coaches believed in me, my teammates believed in me and just got out there and got the job done,” Taylor said.