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Larry Fitzgerald Reflects On Hall Of Fame Trip

Posted Aug 6, 2017

Notes: Star recounts "top-five" experience; QB playing time; Brown returning

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald watches the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday night.

At some point in the future, Larry Fitzgerald will be the one on stage in Canton, wearing the gold jacket and gazing at the bust that will immortalize him next to the other NFL greats.

On Saturday, he was still a face in the crowd at the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, but he appreciated it all the same. The star wide receiver stayed in Ohio after the Cardinals’ game against the Cowboys on Thursday to show his support for Kurt Warner and take in the festivities.

“The overall experience I had (Saturday) was top-five I’ve ever had,” Fitzgerald said from back at training camp on Sunday. “Between intermissions, to be able to go down and be able to rub shoulders with the likes of Dan Marino and John Elway and Jerry Rice and Tim Brown – to see so much history, so many wonderful players that laid the foundation for what I’m able to do, all of us are able to do, it was special.”

Fitzgerald said he became emotional hearing the details of each Hall of Famer’s journey. He knows Warner’s story well since they are former teammates, but Fitzgerald listened intently to the lessons of perseverance shared by former Seahawks safety Kenny Easley and former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

“Those types of stories get me choked up,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald toured the Hall of Fame Museum for the second time, studying closely the exhibits which showcase the history of the NFL.

“I’m a historian of the game,” Fitzgerald said. “I know all the players that have come before me and have great respect for them. I don’t know if the younger generation knows or cares that much. It’s a completely different generation. You can take a young guy in there and they probably wouldn’t know 70 percent of the guys. I knew everybody from sight.

“I remember my dad bringing me media guides home from when he was covering games, and I would go through the whole thing cover to cover. From the owners to the trainers, I would know everybody. That’s just how I am, though. My appreciation might be a little bit different than most.””

Fitzgerald said he never took time to daydream about his own future prospects. After a storied career, he should be a shoo-in to join the Hall of Fame ranks after his playing days.

“I don’t ever think about that,” Fitzgerald said. “Obviously, you hope and dream the opportunity presents itself at some point, but it was moreso you’re just happy for the guys you know. (Terrell Davis) waited a long time. Obviously I’ve known LaDainian for a really long time. Jason Taylor, guys like that, I’ve gotten to know over the years. You’re just happy for them and their families. To be recognized as one of the greatest to ever do it is something special.”

PALMER, STANTON SET FOR FIRST GAME ACTION

Quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton will make their preseason debuts on Saturday against the Raiders. Palmer is scheduled to see about 15 plays with the rest of the offensive starters. Stanton is scheduled to take over from there and play through the end of the first half.

Third-string quarterback Blaine Gabbert will play the entire second half, Arians said, which would leave fourth-stringer Trevor Knight on the bench. Gabbert was 11-for-14 for 185 yards in the first half on Thursday against the Cowboys.

SMOKEY BROWN CLOSE TO RETURN

Wide receiver John Brown (quad) is expected to practice on Tuesday and play against the Raiders. He has been out since July 29 when he injured himself during the Red & White Practice.

“Hopefully it’s gone and he can finish out the rest of the preseason,” Arians said.

Left tackle D.J. Humphries (hamstring) didn’t practice on Sunday but is expected to play on Saturday. Arians said linebacker Philip Wheeler (unknown injury) and wide receiver Aaron Dobson (hamstring) aren’t expected to play, while linebacker Jarvis Jones (back) is questionable.

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