Fitzgerald, who passed Terrell Owens to move into sixth on the NFL’s all-time receptions list during Sunday’s 23-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, left the field late in the second quarter after taking a hit from cornerback Jimmie Ward that upended him and caused him to land on his neck. Fitzgerald returned later in the game and told Ward he thought he tore something.
The future Hall of Fame wideout, who was targeted 18 times -- his most since Week 17 of 2011 and tied for the most by a receiver this season -- was “sore” walking out of University of Phoenix Stadium.
“I’ve been better,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m good enough to go. This is [Week 10] in the National Football League. Everybody is dealing with something. You tape it up. We have the best trainer in the National Football League in Tom Reed. He’ll have me ready for Sunday.”
Fitzgerald may be hurting, but he sounded like he wouldn’t let the beating his body took Sunday slow him from continuing to ascend the record books this season. He can live with the pain, he said.
“You don’t play 13 years without it,” he said. “It’s football. You’re going to get banged up. It’s just part of it. There’s a difference between being hurt and being injured. A lot of guys are hurting. I don’t want to name any on our team but there are guys that are playing through stuff.”
Fitzgerald piled up 133 yards on Sunday (his first 100-yard game of the season and his first since Week 10 last season) to eclipse 14,000 career receiving yards, moving him into 11th on the NFL’s all-time with 14,053.
During his postgame press conference, Fitzgerald shared a story from his rookie season when he talked with Hall of Famer and Cardinals legend Larry Wilson about players lying on the field after suffering an injury. Wilson told Fitzgerald he gets bothered by players who get hurt and “don’t get their ass off the field.” Since that discussion, anytime Fitzgerald has gone down, that conversation pops into his head and he gets off the field as quick as possible.