Kliff Kingsbury on Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald: ‘The ball’s in his court’

Jul 27, 2021, 12:52 PM | Updated: 3:59 pm
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) warms up prior to an NFL football game agains...
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals started training camp on Tuesday with the run test before practice starts on Wednesday.

There was no sign of 37-year-old wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, whose status for next season remains up in the air. Fitzgerald is a free agent currently and is not listed on the Cardinals’ active roster.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury on Tuesday reiterated the same stance both he and general manager Steve Keim have held that they’d love to have the veteran back if he wants.

He said multiple times that he has no knowledge of what Fitzgerald’s plans are and added that no conversation between them has taken place on that subject matter.

“The ball’s in his court,” Kingsbury said Tuesday. “We feel like we got great depth in that group regardless. We’ll have a plan here either way.”

Kingsbury said he believes Fitzgerald has earned the right to take this amount of time.

That depth at wideout includes free-agent signing A.J. Green and second-round pick Rondale Moore. With those two plus the returning DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, as well as Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson, Arizona is well-stocked with pass-catchers with or without Fitzgerald.

But it’s easy to understand how odd it can be for the Cardinals to not have the franchise icon around daily.

“It definitely feels weird without him,” Kirk said. “First time I’ve sat down in my locker and he hasn’t been next to me, so it’s definitely going to be a little bit of an adjustment period for me.”

Fitzgerald has spent the last half-decade entering free agency each offseason with retirement as a possibility. Ultimately, he’s returned to Arizona in the past by signing a string of one-year deals.

The 17-year player recorded 54 catches for 409 yards and a touchdown for the 8-8 Cardinals in 2020, all of which were career lows.

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