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WR Larry Fitzgerald - Arizona Cardinals

6-3, 223Born: 8-31-1983College: PittsburghDrafted: Round 1, pick 3

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Photo: Jasen Vinlove, US Presswire

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News you need to know

General News (Thu Feb 2): announced Wednesday, Feb. 1, that he is "definitely" returning for a 14th season and play out the final year of his contract in 2017, according to ESPN's Jim Trotter.

General News (Tue Jan 31): reportedly told friends in September he expected 2016 to be his last season. He has yet to make a definitive decision one way or the other, but when asked about his future last offseason, the 10-time Pro Bowler told KMVP-FM "a lot of it's tied to Carson (Palmer)."

Week 21: bye week

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 at LA 46 0 0 0 7 5 43 1 0 10.3

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 17 vs LA (7 / 5 / 43 / 1 rec)

Sunday's game had an unfortunate feeling of finality for the future Hall of Famer. After sitting the majority of the afternoon, Fitzgerald came back midway through the 4th quarter for one last reception, a 5-yard touchdown grab that surpassed Antonio Bryant for a league-leading 107 receptions on the year. Whether that is the last of his career or just the capper to a difficult season remains to be seen, but the strong Cardinals fan contingent made their feelings known, chanting "Larry! Larry!" and "One More Year" after the touchdown grab. Fitzgerald has said he would take about a month before making any decisions, so for the next four weeks as other fans follow their team's playoff runs, Cardinals fans will be quietly praying for one more year from the legend.

2016 Week 16 vs SEA (4 / 4 / 31 / 0 rec)

After a few weeks filled with questions about retirement, Fitzgerald's contribution to Saturday's win was rather minimal, but his excitement afterwards was anything but. Despite only four targets, Fitzgerald made the most of his limited use, catching all four balls, including an incredible, contested over-the-shoulder grab at the 1-yard line to set up a David Johnson touchdown, as well as the last reception of the afternoon leading to Catanzaro's game winning field goal. Whether or not Fitzgerald returns for the 2017 season will likely remain a mystery well into the offseason, but Saturday's win clearly gave Fitzgerald a much-needed sense of rejuvenation.

2016 Week 15 vs NO (9 / 7 / 57 / 0 rec)

With Palmer having found his deep-ball on Sunday, Fitzgerald was relegated a bit to the background on offense, working the short and intermediate with success albeit on fewer targets. Fitzgerald failed to eclipse 60 receiving yards on Sunday, never found the end zone, and lost a fumble early in the game, but as he always does provided an important outlet and 3rd-down target for Palmer. Fitzgerald was as non-committal as he has ever been with regards to his 2017 playing status. Fitzgerald's retirement would be the biggest blow yet after what has been the franchise's most disappointing season, but at this stage of his career it would make sense for the icon to wait and see how the offseason unfolds for the franchise. The record books have always meant a lot to Fitzgerald, but at this point they may not be enough to entice him back if the team does not appear poised for a playoff run.

2016 Week 14 vs MIA (9 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)

Sunday may in fact have been the worst game of Fitzgerald's career. His statistics were objectively awful, leading the team in targets yet only amassing 12-yards to show for it, but Fitzgerald's struggles went well beyond his box-score stats. Palmer's first interception went off Fitzgerald's fingers, as he was simply too slow getting out of his break, and on numerous run plays he failed to adequately block his defender. These are usually the things Fitzgerald excels at, and you have to wonder how much the weather affected his performance. That should not be an excuse, everyone played on the same field Sunday, but little else can explain the across-the-board failures of a future Hall of Famer.

2016 Week 13 vs WAS (11 / 10 / 78 / 0 rec)

It was another milestone day for the future Hall of Famer, moving to No. 10 all time in receiving yards and No. 3 in receptions. Aside from the career milestones, it was another typical day for Fitzgerald, leading the team in receptions and finishing second only to David Johnson in targets and yards. The inability to throw deep this season has bogged down much of the short and intermediate areas that Fitzgerald now earns his living in, but expert route-running and crafty play has still allowed Fitzgerald to make his mark each week.

2016 Week 12 vs ATL (4 / 4 / 53 / 0 rec)

Despite an incredible one-handed catch early in the game, Fitzgerald was mostly held in check on Sunday. Targeted only four times, Fitzgerald's opportunities were few and far between. Opportunities have been limited of late, with the offense struggling to maintain drives and rhythm, and the Cardinals inability to push the ball downfield, the short-to-intermediate part of the field where Fitzgerald thrives has become considerably more congested. Johnson aside, Fitzgerald remains the team's top target, but offensive struggles and Fitzgerald's injuries have slowed his production significantly.

2016 Week 11 vs MIN (7 / 6 / 63 / 0 rec)

Having never won as a professional in his home state, Fitzgerald started the game looking like a man possessed, drawing penalties, and making stunning one-handed grabs. Considering the injuries and ailments Fitzgerald has been dealing with, the effort was all the more impressive. Unfortunately it was all for naught, with the team's second-half offensive breakdown minimizing his ability to impact. Connecting on 6 of 7 targets, Palmer and Fitzgerald showed great chemistry, but between turnovers and blocking breakdowns, there simply weren't enough opportunities for Fitzgerald to make more of a mark.

2016 Week 10 vs SF (18 / 12 / 133 / 0 rec)

Fitzgerald's 18 targets on Sunday highlight two notable takeaways: Larry Fitzgerald seemingly has not slowed down a beat, and Carson Palmer is locking onto his primary receiver far too often. Equally troubling as that second statement was the status of Fitzgerald's health after the game. Fitzgerald entered the game with a hamstring injury, injured his ribs diving for a ball early in the first quarter, was later up-ended onto his neck, and later came out for the second half wearing a rather noticeable knee-brace. There is some conflicting information on the severity of Fitzgerald's knee injury, but at best, he is well short of 100% heading into the second half. This week's injury report will be worth following closely for clues about his health.

2016 Week 8 vs CAR (11 / 10 / 74 / 0 rec)

Fitzgerald led the team in receptions again, providing an important safety net for Palmer throughout the afternoon. This is and has been Fitzgerald's role in the offense for a while now, but Sunday lacked many of the other staples to Fitzgerald's game. Fitzgerald gained very few yards after the catch and could not get open beyond short routes, unable to work the intermediate part of the field. Fitzgerald also failed to find the end zone, something he often does even in games which the offense struggles. There is little concern here, Fitzgerald's track record speaks for itself, but back to back down games for the future Hall of Famer is not an ideal way to enter the bye week.

2016 Week 7 vs SEA (14 / 9 / 70 / 0 rec)

Fitzgerald settled into his usual role as the Cardinals' receiver with the most targets and catches again on Sunday, but the offensive stalls inside Seattle territory limited Fitzgerald's impact on the evening. The 50% conversion of targets to catches also is not spectacular, but much of that is credited to the tremendous Seattle defense rather than errant throws, wrong routes, or the miscommunication that plagued the offense for the first four weeks. Fitzgerald will face a much more exploitable secondary next week against the Panthers, and despite the comically low point total, the passing game does appear trending upwards, ever so slightly.

2016 Week 6 vs NYJ (9 / 6 / 49 / 0 rec)

The most notable play for Fitzgerald Monday night was a dropped pass on a short crossing-route. It is not that Larry was uninvolved in the offense, but Fitzgerald drops are so rare it actually feels noteworthy to witness. Beyond the drop, it was not Fitzgerald's best game, but still a consistent effort throughout. Fitzgerald led the team in targets, though amassed less than 50-yards and never found the end zone. He was also flagged for a penalty that negated a nice David Johnson run. In a game with such little offense it is tough for anyone to really stand out. David Johnson did, this week Fitzgerald did not.

2016 Week 5 vs SF (8 / 6 / 81 / 2 rec)

Despite a barely competent passing game, Larry Fitzgerald had another strong outing. Fitzgerald was targeted twice as much as any other wide receiver, a function of both Stanton's comfort level in Fitzgerald and the struggles of the rest of the wide receivers, and made the most of it. In addition to being Stanton's security blanket on short and intermediate routes, Fitzgerald also caught the only deep-ball of the night, a 29-yard touchdown midway through the 3rd quarter. While the Fitzgerald of old would have simply outleaped his defender, an older Fitzgerald opted to use his intelligence and body control to put himself in a better position to make the play.

2016 Week 4 vs LA (7 / 5 / 62 / 0 rec, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)

Fitzgerald was not particularly involved in Sunday's game, in part because of the stilted offense, but certainly due to the defensive scheme the Rams deployed on Sunday. Fitzgerald did make an impact as a run blocker, sealing the edge and contributing key blocks on a few of Johnson's better runs, but did little of significance in the passing game.

2016 Week 3 vs BUF (12 / 7 / 60 / 0 rec)

The last time Larry played in Buffalo it was his rookie season and the only game in his career in which he played and failed to register a reception. While this was not repeated, Fitzgerald finished the day with six receptions, nothing else about Fitzgerald's afternoon was notable. He led the team in targets and receptions, but failed to register a score or any big plays. Even an all-time great like Larry Fitzgerald is not immune to the effects of an offense as out of sync as the Cardinals is. Fitzgerald has shown no signs of personally slowing down; the offense around him simply needs to mesh around him.

2016 Week 2 vs TB (10 / 5 / 77 / 1 rec, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)

The wonder that is Larry Fitzgerald had another strong game on Sunday, leading the team in targets, receptions, catching the team's first touchdown, and falling about a yard short of a second. Fitzgerald's touchdown was vintage Larry. On 1st-goal from the four, Fitzgerald ran a quick slant from Palmer's right, and with a Tampa defender draped all over him, Fitzgerald made a difficult catch look routine. These types of plays have become so common over the course of Fitzgerald's 12-year career, and yet it is a marvel to watch them each and every time.

2016 Week 1 vs NE (10 / 8 / 81 / 2 rec)

Despite the loss, Sunday was a milestone in the Hall of Fame career of Larry Fitzgerald. His second touchdown of the evening, a phenomenal over-the-shoulder grab a reminiscent of Willie Mays, was the 100th touchdown in Fitzgerald's career. It also briefly gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game, before the defense promptly squandered it. Beyond the milestones, Fitz did what Fitz always does. He lead the team in targets, catches, and yards, expertly working the short and intermediate depths in the middle of the field. Rumors swirled Sunday morning of Fitzgerald's retirement at the season's conclusion, and while they may prove true, he still looks closer to a player in his prime than that of one at the end of his career.


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