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Golf, Not Future, On Larry Fitzgerald’s Mind

Posted Dec 31, 2017

Notes: Star wideout won't decide 2018 status soon; Gresham tears Achilles

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald catches a pass against the Seahawks.

SEATTLE – Coach Bruce Arians will decide on his future quickly because the Cardinals need to have a succession plan in place should he retire.

Larry Fitzgerald isn’t under the same tight timeline, and he won’t rush his decision. The Cardinals’ star receiver said his plans for next week consist of a lot of leisure, not choosing whether to play in 2018.

“I don’t have any timetable,” Fitzgerald said. “Go play golf tomorrow. Tuesday play golf again. Wednesday I’ll play golf. Thursday I’ll play some more golf and we’ll figure it out as we go.”

Fitzgerald had eight catches for 55 yards in Sunday’s 26-24 win over the Seahawks. It wrapped another fantastic season -- this one at age 34 – as he finished with 109 catches for 1,156 yards. Fitzgerald ended up second in the NFL in receptions behind Miami’s Jarvis Landry.

The Cardinals played well down the stretch, as Sunday’s win was their third in the final four games and gave them an 8-8 record to wrap up the season. Fitzgerald could look at those factors as he makes his decision, but that won’t be soon.

“It’s too early to start thinking about that stuff,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m just going to enjoy some downtime. It’s my son’s birthday tomorrow. He turns 10. So I’m going to hang with him. Get on my daddy duty.”

If Fitzgerald does return in 2018, he wants Arians to be his coach.

“I don’t want to think about him walking away right now,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re holding out hope.”

JERMAINE GRESHAM TEARS ACHILLES

Tight end Jermaine Gresham tore his Achilles in the loss, Arians said. That injury generally has a lengthy rehabilitation process. Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones injured his ankle, Arians said.

The Cardinals’ offensive line was also banged up. Left guard Alex Boone left the game with a calf injury and right guard Evan Boehm departed with an undisclosed injury. Earl Watford and Vinston Painter filled in.

“We were down to the bare bones,” Arians said. “We had just enough players to finish that drive.”

Offensive lineman Khalif Barnes was being used as an emergency tight end late, and the offense still managed to get into field goal range for the deciding points.

“That last drive for us was so huge,” tight end Troy Niklas said. “It revealed the character that we have. Dog tired, and we just kept it going.”

Defensive lineman Josh Mauro also left the game with an ankle injury.

STICKING WITH THE RUN

The Cardinals’ running game didn’t dominate but it was consistent enough to keep the Seahawks honest and the ball moving. The team had 33 carries for 116 yards, which was a 3.5 yards-per-carry average.

Kerwynn Williams finished with 23 carries for 75 yards, while Elijhaa Penny added eight carries for 39 yards and a score. Penny had some key runs on the late drive where the Cardinals took the lead on Phil Dawson’s fourth field goal.

“I felt like we played a well-rounded game, and that’s what you need to beat a team like this,” Williams said.

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