Wide receiver Michael Floyd breaks away from two defenders en route to his 91-yard touchdown reception Sunday during the Cardinals' 27-14 victory over the Jaguars.
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. – Michael Floyd went from a question mark to an exclamation point in a matter of days this week.
The Cardinals' wide receiver left the first quarter of last Sunday's game against the Texans with an AC sprain in his right shoulder and didn't practice on Wednesday. He returned to the field in a limited capacity on Thursday and Friday, and while Floyd vowed to play against the Jaguars, his potential impact was still in doubt.
There's no disputing his importance now, as the Cardinals' 2012 first round pick had a career-best performance, catching six
passes for 193 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown which stands as the longest catch in the NFL this year.
Coach Bruce Arians said the Cardinals very easily could have held Floyd out of this game, and was proud of his resolve.
"He's been so close so many times," Arians said. "I am very happy for him that he showed up in this game."
The Cardinals faced a third-and-10 and were clinging to a three-point lead when Floyd came up with the long touchdown grab. Palmer found him past the first down marker, and Floyd did the rest, eluding multiple defenders and racing to the end zone.
The reception tied for the seventh-longest in team history. It was the longest since Neil Lomax found Ernie Jones for 93 yards in 1988.
"It was the coverage that we wanted," Floyd said. "The safety bit down on the play-action and Carson (Palmer) made a heck of a throw and I made a couple of guys miss."
Floyd's previous career-high for receiving yards was 166, set in last year's season's finale against the 49ers. He had not been over 100 yards this season.
"With my big frame, I should be able to make catches that not all guys can," Floyd said. "I
expect a lot out of me."
In practice this week Floyd was noticeably favoring his shoulder, but he said he never planned on missing the game. Arians said he talked to Floyd about being at practice to be able to work with Palmer, and Floyd – after missing practice Wednesday – made sure he was back on the field Thursday to prep for the game.
Floyd started out a bit slowly, struggling to corral a pair of catchable balls. Palmer said he told Floyd more would be coming and to hang onto them, which he did.
Floyd had two receptions for 44 yards on a drive before halftime which resulted in a 5-yard touchdown run by Rashard Mendenhall. It knotted up the game at 14, and Floyd then helped put it away with the 91-yard score.
"He's really developing," Palmer said. "It's really good to see because I know he wants it. He works hard at it. He studies hard. He's very mature for his age, and to see him come out with a breakout game like that is huge."