Larry Fitzgerald Has COVID-19, Will Miss His First Game In 6 Years
Longtime Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will sit out his first game in almost six years Sunday after receiving a positive coronavirus diagnosis.
Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots will be the first Fitzgerald hasn’t started since November 2014, when he missed two games in Seattle and Atlanta due to a knee injury.
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he’s disappointed for Fitzgerald, who is less than 200 receptions away from breaking the record held by Jerry Rice. Contracting the coronavirus is a risk every player takes, he said.
“You hope each day you don’t get an email saying you have an issue, and if you do, you adapt, adjust, and try to put your best foot forward," Kingsbury said. "We’re playing football, so it’s not always easy to do to keep bodies separate, but I do think you just have to be conscientious day in and day out and understand that everybody’s dealing with it, and if we want to finish the season the right way, then we have to abide by it.”
The last time Fitzgerald missed a game, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was still in high school. Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries says it’ll feel different taking the field without Fitzgerald, who has been a mentor to younger players.
“It’s definitely going to be different," Humphries said. "I think he’s done a great job of molding the next age and era of guys so well that you know we’ll be able to kind of carry on his same energy.”
Kingsbury says losing Fitzgerald is not ideal, but there are several players available who can fill his role on the field in a pinch.
Murray will start Sunday's game after a shoulder injury last week.