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Wide Receiver Room Has Direction With Or Without Larry Fitzgerald

As for veteran pass catcher's decision to play or not, 'ball is in his court'

Wide receivers A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins and KeeSean Johnson take a brief break during the conditioning test Tuesday as training camp opened.
Wide receivers A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins and KeeSean Johnson take a brief break during the conditioning test Tuesday as training camp opened.

Chase Edmonds is part of a group text with Christian Kirk, former teammate Trent Sherfield and – as of now – another former teammate, Larry Fitzgerald.

The running back said Tuesday as the Cardinals showed up to training camp without Fitzgerald for the first time in 17 years that he wanted to send a text out for Fitz and "just tell him we miss him."

Kirk admitted not having Fitzgerald round was "definitely going to be a little bit of an adjustment period for me."

No doors are closed yet, of course. Fitzgerald hasn't said for sure he isn't coming back, but he is without a contract, and he hasn't said he wants to come back, either.

"We've been over all that," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "The ball is in his court. We feel like we have great depth in our (receivers) group regardless, but we will have a plan ready either way."

The Cardinals added veteran A.J. Green in the offseason, and drafted Rondale Moore. They have DeAndre Hopkins and Kirk, and even hope that Andy Isabella and/or KeeSean Johnson can find consistent footing.

If Fitzgerald were to return, it would make for a crowded room.

"I don't get paid to make those decisions," Kirk said. "And those are the hard decisions that will be made if he does or if he doesn't come back."

Kingsbury reiterated he does not know Fitzgerald's ultimate decision, and again noted the future Hall of Famer has "earned the right" to make the choice on his timeline. It's unknown if money – Fitzgerald made a little more than $11 million last season, and would figure to have to play for less if he did play – is a factor.

Besides, Kirk has been through this should-I-play-or-not with Fitzgerald every year (albeit usually with a conclusion early in the offseason) and "it doesn't really feel new to me.

"But being really close to Larry and knowing how he operates, it doesn't surprise me he's going about it the way that he is. There is always a rhyme and reason."

Images from the arrival at #CardsCamp in 2021, including the conditioning test.

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