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Larry Fitzgerald Not Slowing Down

Posted Sep 11, 2016

Big night shows that if retirement is on horizon, it will be on star receiver's own accord

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald hauls in his second touchdown of the night.

On a day when a retirement report popped up, Larry Fitzgerald continued to show that if he leaves the game any time soon, it will be on his own accord.

The Cardinals’ 33-year-old wide receiver set a career high with 109 catches last season and sprinted out of the gate in Sunday night’s 23-21 season-opening loss to the Patriots. He had eight receptions for 81 yards and a pair of touchdowns that were the 99th and 100th of his illustrious career.

He became only the seventh player in NFL history to amass 1,000 catches and 100 touchdown receptions.

“That’s just Larry,” coach Bruce Arians said.

Earlier in the day, the NFL Network reported Fitzgerald had told close friends he plans to retire after the season. Fitzgerald said postgame he doesn’t know when he will call it quits.

“I don’t talk about the future,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight, let alone what I’m doing next year. I signed another year for a reason. I believe in what we’re doing here.”

Fitzgerald said he doesn’t get frustrated by the constant speculation about his future.

“People can speculate about anything and it goes viral,” Fitzgerald said. “I saw a seven-legged dog cross the street this morning too. I didn’t tweet it, and I’m pretty sure if I would’ve, it would have gone viral, too. That’s the nature of the beast nowadays.”

Even though Fitzgerald is one of the oldest players on the team, his performances remain the envy of teammates a decade younger.

Fitzgerald caught a three-yard pass for the Cardinals’ first points on Sunday and then hauled in a spectacular one-yard fade to put the team ahead in the fourth quarter. On the second touchdown, he jetted to the left corner of the end zone, looked over his shoulder and secured the catch after a slight bobble.

“Coach (Darryl Drake) always says, ‘Make the plays you’re supposed to make and make a few that nobody else can make,’” Fitzgerald said. “That’s kind of our motto. We hold ourselves to a very high standard.”

On the offense’s final drive, he hauled in three passes for 46 yards to help get the ball into field goal range. A Chandler Catanzaro missed 46-yard field goal sealed the loss, but the Cardinals might not have even been in a position to win without Fitzgerald.

“Larry does that stuff all the time throughout practice and definitely throughout games,” running back David Johnson said. “It’s just another boost for our offense. It gets me motivated to do what I can to help out the team.”

Quarterback Carson Palmer said he doesn’t specifically look for Fitzgerald in crunch time or other important situations, but he realizes the advantage that comes from having him as a target.

“It’s awesome,” Palmer said. “We’ve got one of the best receivers to ever play the game. That’s a good situation to be in.”

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