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Floyd Finishes With Flourish

Posted Aug 31, 2012

Rookie gets TD as Cards fall to Broncos, 16-13, in preseason finale

Wide receiver Michael Floyd pulls in his touchdown catch Thursday night during the Cardinals' 16-13 loss to the Broncos to close the preseason.

If Michael Floyd had hauled in his second-quarter touchdown catch with just one hand, it surely would’ve been highlight worthy.

But mix in a one-handed tip, a fall to the ground, a bobble and then the catch, and you have Floyd’s first career touchdown in the NFL.

Just the way he planned it.

“I was blessed to get it,” Floyd said. “I kept concentration on the ball the whole time. Luckily the guy hit me in the back to go toward the ball so it landed in my hands.”

The touchdown gave the Cardinals an early 7-0 lead but a last-second field goal by Denver kicker Matt Prater gave the Broncos (2-2) a 16-13 win at University of Phoenix Stadium in both teams’ last preseason game.

It was the type of catch Floyd became known for as a standout receiver at Notre Dame, and even his quarterback wasn’t sure how Floyd came down with his only catch of the game.

“I just tried to keep it away a bit because I saw the safety rolling over to get him,” quarterback Ryan Lindley said. “I put it behind him and he came up with it. That is what Mike does.

“He made a greater play than I ever thought he would have made. That’s a pretty sweet first touchdown for him.”

Lindley’s pass to Floyd was the Cardinals’ lone touchdown of the game, and it might have helped him secure the third quarterback spot on the team with final cuts down to 53 coming Friday afternoon.

The plan all week was for backups Lindley and Richard Bartel to split playing time, with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, who are competing for the starting job, watching from the sideline. But Bartel left the game in the third quarter with a right shoulder injury, forcing Lindley back in action. Bartel finished 4-for-5 for 92 yards.

“I’m going to take it as a good test,” Lindley said. “It’s something that could happen in the future. Hopefully it doesn’t but it’s good practice for something like that.”

Lindley finished with 176 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-26 passing.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt praised Lindley’s performance overall, especially his accuracy in the first half, and was pleased with how he came back after Bartel went down.

“That’s kind of been the way he’s handled himself all camp without a lot of reps,” Whisenhunt said.

Beanie Wells led the Cardinals (1-4) in rushing with 35 yards on seven carries but Whisenhunt noted he was hit on the knee before leaving the game late in the first quarter. Whisenhunt said he will review the game tape before assessing Wells’ progress but overall said Wells played well in just his second game back from knee surgery.

Running back William Powell impressed on special teams, returning two kicks for 66 yards including a 44-yard run, although he struggled to gain 18 yards on nine carries as he battled Alfonso Smith for a roster spot.

But the focus was on Floyd, who kept the football after the touchdown – and plans on keeping “every single ball.”

Even Larry Fitzgerald, a fellow Minnesotan who’s made his share of highlight-worthy catches, was impressed.

But could Fitzgerald make that type of play?

“That was (a) much more acrobatic circus catch than I ever could have made,” Fitzgerald said. “I never made one like that. I could take a note or two.”

JAMES INJURED

Running back Javarris James left the game in the third quarter with a suspected ACL tear.


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