GLENDALE, Ariz. — The records have been piling up for Larry Fitzgerald this season, though he says the only one that matters is the team’s, which is now 7-4.
Yet, just more than one month after becoming the youngest player in NFL history to reach 800 career receptions, which he did in a win over the Atlanta Falcons, Fitzgerald added another achievement to his storied career.
Sunday, in the team’s 40-11 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, he became the youngest player in league history to cross the 11,000-yard plateau on a 16-yard reception late in the first half.
“I really don’t pay all that much attention to it, in the now,” Fitzgerald said after the game. “I’m happy, it’s a great accomplishment, But Jerry Rice had 21,000 yards receiving, and that’s the benchmark.”
Actually, Rice finished his career with 22,895 yards, but he was not on the same pace as the Arizona Cardinal. Had it not been for some shaky quarterback play the last few seasons, odds are Fitzgerald would have reached this milestone much sooner than 30 years and 85 days.
But alas, a record is still a record.
Fitzgerald finished the day with five catches for 52 yards and two first-half touchdowns. On the season, he now has 606 yards and eight touchdowns on 50 catches. The reception and yard totals are nothing to write home about, but the eight touchdowns are double what he posted all of last season.
“Larry’s been there. His opportunities are getting there,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “He’s getting healthier. You can see it now.
“We had him down the field a couple more times, and I thought he got held, but it’s part of the game. The chemistry is coming with all of those guys.”
This was far and away the team’s best offensive performance of the season, and Fitzgerald was a big part of it. Needless to say, the 30-year-old receiver is enjoying this year a bit more than last, when the team struggled to move the ball and his numbers suffered because of it.
“It feels much better to be 7-4; that’s really what it’s about for me at this point in my career,” Fitzgerald said. “Ten years in. The numbers are great, but to be doing it in winning, that makes it that much more special.
“To have my son be able to watch it in the stands, he’s old enough to know what’s going on now, so those type of things are meaningful.”