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Larry Fitzgerald Retirement Decision Expected To 'Be A While'

Notes: No surgery for Murray; kicker plans in 2021 still unknown

WR Larry Fitzgerald (left) speaks with owner Michael Bidwill before Sunday's season finale against the Rams.
WR Larry Fitzgerald (left) speaks with owner Michael Bidwill before Sunday's season finale against the Rams.

Another offseason of the Larry Fitzgerald retirement watch begins.

The Cardinals' veteran wide receiver has contemplated calling it quits for the past several years but has ultimately returned to play each time. The answer for the 2021 campaign isn't expected immediately.

"I talked to him today," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "It'll be a while before anybody knows. He's got a lot to think about. We all want him back. He knows that we all know he can still be a force on the field when he's feeling good and healthy, doing what he can do. I'm not sure of the exact timetable, but he's one of the best to ever play, and still can play at an incredibly high level. We want him back."

Fitzgerald, 37, finished with 54 catches for 409 yards and a touchdown this season, career lows. He missed two games due to COVID-19 and the finale against the Rams with a groin injury.

Left tackle D.J. Humphries does not want to see his longtime teammate retire.

"He's been around since I got here, and I haven't even wrapped my head around thinking about him not being here," Humphries said. "That's tough to even think about. He's put himself in a position to write his future, though, and say however he wants it to go, and everyone will respect it. But it's hard to wrap your head around him not being in this building."

Fitzgerald is set to be unrestricted free agent, although he's said in the past the only organization he will play for is the Cardinals.

Safety Budda Baker wants Fitzgerald to stick around even past 2021.

"I would love to have Larry for my whole career," Baker said. "Larry is that great person you just want to be around. … Hopefully he stays, but Larry is a grown man. Thirty-seven, I think, right? He's going to make his decision in his due time."

SURGERY NOT EXPECTED FOR MURRAY

It's unclear what kind of injury quarterback Kyler Murray sustained to his ankle against the Rams, but there is no expectation he will go under the knife to facilitate the recovery.

"It doesn't appear that he will need surgery," Kingsbury said. "He was limping around today when I saw him in the building. I definitely know that it was affecting him yesterday, and so hopefully he will heal up quickly and be feeling better soon."

Murray suffered shoulder, leg and ankle injuries this season but the only significant playing time he missed came on Sunday, when he was sidelined for more than half of the offensive snaps.

KICKER PLANS FOR 2021 UNKNOWN

Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez struggled on crucial kicks this season and then landed on injured reserve with a back injury for the final three games.

His replacement, Mike Nugent, was 7-for-8 on field goals, with the miss coming on a block against the Rams. Gonzalez, who has the stronger leg, and Nugent are both impending unrestricted free agents.

"We like Zane," Kingsbury said. "We have a lot of faith in Zane. We're still evaluating all things moving forward."

NO COACHING STAFF DECISIONS YET

Kingsbury is unsure if the coaching staff will have any changes this offseason. He said little has been decided on the coaching or player personnel front because it's been less than 24 hours since the season ended.

"We're still evaluating a lot of things," Kingsbury said.

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