Cards’ Fitzgerald doesn’t get surprised — not even by turnout of Bears fans

Sep 23, 2018, 8:53 PM | Updated: Sep 24, 2018, 1:55 pm

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Chicag...

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Chicago Bears with Larry Fitzgerald, right, and Christian Kirk (13) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has seen plenty quarterbacks come and go through the Arizona locker room.

What’s one more switch to him?

“Surprised? Nah, nothing surprises me in this business anymore,” he said.

Starting quarterback Sam Bradford was replaced in the fourth quarter by rookie Josh Rosen, who was picked No. 10 overall in the NFL draft. The rookie was unable to initiate a comeback and the Cardinals lost 16-14 to the Chicago Bears.

“You feel bad for Sam because he works his tail off every day and he gives it his best, but you have a first-round pick,” Fitzgerald said. “I guess you’re on borrowed time when you’re in that position.”

It seemed as though Bradford would get an extended period of this borrowed time. The Cardinals jumped to a 14-0 lead as he started the game 4-for-5 with 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

But he couldn’t produce any further, getting benched after three second-half turnovers.

“You do go through a game of emotions,” Fitzgerald said. “To jump out like that to 14-point lead, and do it on a road game like we had today, you know, it’s good. And then the momentum completely shifted.”

Sandwiched between the 14-point lead and the momentum shift was Fitzgerald’s underlying comment: “… a road game like we had today.”

Chicago fans consistently turn out in droves to Arizona sporting events, whether its spring training in Mesa or NFL games in Glendale.

After Bears defensive back Eddie Jackson caught what appeared to be a pick-six before it was called back for an offside penalty, he found a large enough group of Bears fans at the wall behind the end zone to perform a Lambeau Leap — on an away team’s turf.

The excitement for Josh Rosen from Cardinals fans seemed palpable, but Fitzgerald barely took notice.

“Which fans are you talking about?” he said when asked about the crowd’s energy created by Rosen. “I couldn’t hear the cheers on top the boos.”

He chuckled, apparently joking, but less than a week after the Arizona Diamondbacks lost a series to the Cubs at home, the Cardinals had to deal with the noise from the same Chicago transplants.

Asked if it bothered him, Fitzgerald paused before answering: “I’m not going to mess with that one.”

He had plenty of time to listen to them. The new Cardinals coaching staff is still struggling to give its stars the ball — running back David Johnson had just 12 carries, and Fitzgerald was only targeted twice all game.

Fitzgerald was asked if the Bears defense did anything special against him.

“No,” he said. “That’s just the way the cookie crumbles at times.”

Nothing special. He just wasn’t a frequent target. The way Fitzgerald and Johnson will be utilized as the year goes on is one of the major questions the Cardinals face.

But there is one thing that might be more pressing heading into Week 4: Who will the starting quarterback be?

Whether it’s the rookie or the incumbent, it seems Fitzgerald won’t be surprised.

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