Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald lays out for a spectacular catch against the Vikings Sunday.
With Bruce Arians' hospitalization, football became secondary Monday for the Cardinals.
But meetings and preparation for the game against Falcons in Atlanta went on, as the reality set in that the team's postseason hopes had shrunk immensely.
"We have no room for error moving forward," wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. "None."
The loss to the Vikings – one of the teams the Cards were chasing – was painful enough. But it also meant losing ground to most of the other teams the Cardinals are behind. Division leaders Seattle, Dallas and Detroit all won. Atlanta was on a bye. Aside from the Vikings, both the Giants and Redskins won.
For the moment, the closest the Cardinals are to any of them is a game-and-a-half. It's why beating the Vikings would have made a world of difference.
"This one we really wanted, really needed, and we did not get it," quarterback Carson Palmer said.
The Cardinals play the Falcons and then the Redskins. Given the NFC landscape, anything less than 10 victories would seem to eliminate playoff hopes, and the Cardinals have four wins with six to play. Nine wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility assuming going 5-1 includes a win over Washington.
But when you are crunching numbers that hard, it's not a good sign, and why Fitzgerald understands the mountain left to climb.
"We just haven't to this point done enough to make sure that we come out with the wins – score enough points, not turn the football over, not have wide receiver miscues and things of that nature," Fitzgerald said. "That is the thing that is most alarming is that we didn't have much of that last year."
WATFORD HURT AGAINST VIKINGS
Arians was not available to talk about injuries, and there had been nothing said Sunday about right guard Earl Watford. Watford had been replaced by the newly signed Taylor Boggs in the fourth quarter. Turned out Watford was suffering from a stinger, General Manager Steve Keim said Monday during his appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7.
Keim said he didn't know Watford's status for the Atlanta game. Watford is already a backup playing himself, having replaced the injured Evan Mathis. Left tackle is also being manned by backup John Wetzel.
Some of the best images from the Week 11 game in Minnesota