Report: Cardinals ‘not optimistic’ that Larry Fitzgerald will play Sunday
Neither the Arizona Cardinals nor Los Angeles Rams will be at full strength with a playoff spot guaranteed to the winner of their Week 17 matchup.
The Cardinals head into Sunday shorthanded in the wide receiver room after placing Christian Kirk on the COVID-19 reserve list on Saturday, and it could be even thinner come game time.
Larry Fitzgerald, who is listed questionable with a groin injury, was not expected to play as of late Saturday night, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter said the 37-year-old “could try to surprise Arizona” but that the Cardinals were “not counting on having him available.”
Fitzgerald has played in 13 of the team’s 15 games this season, missing two after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
He has 54 catches on the year for 409 yards and one touchdown.
Rams injury notes
On the other side of the field, the Rams have already declared quarterback Jared Goff out with a thumb injury and wide receiver Cooper Kupp out due to COVID-19.
They might have their full running back room, though. Rookie Cam Akers is expected to play despite being listed as questionable with a high ankle sprain, according to Schefter.
Akers is second on the team in rushing yards with 591 on the season and has two rushing touchdowns.
He has come on strong as of late, rushing for more than 70 yards in each of his last four games, including a 171-yard outburst against the Patriots in Week 14.
If making the playoffs isn’t enough incentive for the Cardinals players in the final game of the season, maybe $500,000 can help get at least one player hyped.
That is what linebacker De’Vondre Campbell will earn if the Cardinals win the game and earn a playoff berth, according to Schefter.
Campbell’s contract includes a $500,000 dollar incentive if the Cardinals make the playoffs and the linebacker plays in 65 percent of the teams snaps.
So far this, Campbell has been on the field for 80.97% of the teams snaps, the fourth-most of any player on defense for Arizona this season, according to Pro Football Reference. Much like the Cardinals, win and he’s in.