So much for being questionable.
After suffering a shoulder injury in the Arizona Cardinals’ 27-24 victory over the Houston Texans last week, second-year receiver Michael Floyd’s status for Sunday’s game in Jacksonville was up in the air for the better part of the week.
But despite being limited in practice Thursday and Friday, Floyd was active for the contest. And as it turned out, he was far more than a warm body in Arizona’s 13-point win.
Clinging to a 17-14 lead and with the game still very much in the balance midway through the third quarter, the Cardinals faced a critical third and 10 from their own nine-yard line.
Sensing the need for a big play, the Jaguars sent a blitz from the weak side, but Carson Palmer was able to deliver a beautiful 16-yard strike to Floyd from his own goal line.
From there, Floyd did the rest.
The former first-round pick cut back to his left, spun past two tackles and raced down the left sideline and into the end zone for a back-breaking 91-yard touchdown.
The reception was the longest in team history since Neil Lomax connected with Ernie Young on a 93-yard scoring pass back in Dec. 1988.
“Carson made a heck of a throw,” Floyd said. “And it was me just being individually fierce, not being able to be taken down on the first tackle. We saw that the safety broke down on my side. Carson made a great throw. I split two guys and took it to the house.
“I made the catch, and then I see guys coming towards me. But I made a cut, because I knew it’s just going to be a hand tackle and I can break them. And I did, made a great play to the end zone.”
Aided by his 91-yard catch, Floyd finished with a career-high 193 yards receiving — the most by a Cardinals receiver this season.
While the one-win Jaguars started three rookies on the defensive side of the football, Floyd said that he didn’t let that factor into his mindset going into the game.
“It gives me great confidence,” Floyd said of his career day. “I think if they weren’t great players, they wouldn’t be in the NFL. You have to respect them regardless of whether they are a rookie or a 10-year vet.
“I just have to play my game. When I play my game I can be successful out there.”
Successful could also be a word used to describe the Cardinals’ aerial attack of late. Although no one will mistake the Falcons, Jaguars and Texans as elite opponents, Arizona has turned one of its early-season deficiencies into one of its biggest strengths.
Over the last three weeks, the Cardinals have scored six passing touchdowns and averaged 27.0 points per game.
“It’s been great,” said Floyd of the passsing game. “We’re improving each and every week. It’s just us getting comfortable with each other. Right now the sky is the limit for us. We’re doing real well, but we just have to keep it going.”