Why Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd ran same route on TD

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer dropped back out of the shot gun and looked to his right midway through the third quarter, he found an usual circumstance.

Both Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd were within feet of each other near the right sideline. Palmer didn’t know who to throw it to.

“I kind of just threw it in between them and hoped that one of them would catch it,” Palmer said.

Floyd did, mainly because he was closer. Fitzgerald started blocking, eventually pushing Minnesota safety Anthony Harris to ground to spring a 42-yard touchdown for Floyd.

But why were Fitzgerald and Floyd within feet of each other?

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians explained Friday.

After fellow wide receiver John Brown went down with an injury, Floyd took over Brown’s role.

“He thought he knew what to do and didn’t,” Arians said.

Floyd ran Fitzgerald’s route, and Fitzgerald ran his route -- both out routes -- and ended up together in the same area, uncovered.

“Thank God,” Arians said. “It was that type of ball game.”

Said Fitzgerald: “Mike was in my reception area but to add insult to injury, then he made me have to block for him to get in the end zone. So he was running with the ball I was supposed to have. It was an interesting play but it worked out for us. It’s always good to be able to have a good laugh and a win.”

Arians said Jaron Brown usually plays the position Floyd filled in at but Jaron Brown was lined up in a different position.

“Mike just jumped in and he thought he was getting the ball,” Arians said. “He ran the right route the wrong way.”

It helped Floyd top 100 yards receiving for the fourth time in his last five games, but it also kept Fitzgerald at 41 for the game. But the play Fitzgerald was best known for Thursday was the block on Harris.

“That’s what Larry does,” Palmer said. “I remember letting the ball go and seeing Larry in front of him and I was like, ‘Oh, he might score,’ just because that is what Larry does. He got down and he made that play happen. Obviously, Mike had a lot to do with that, too. It was just kind of a weird game.”

The block on Harris wasn’t Fitzgerald’s first pancake block, the eight-time Pro Bowler said. But Fitzgerald didn’t want to spend much time talking about his blocking Thursday -- or any other day of the season.

“Blocking is never fun,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s part of the job but catching touchdowns is much more glorious. You’re not as sore, you don’t have to get in the cold tub as much, but it’s a role I’m privileged to have because I know it’s a dirty job but I’m capable of doing it.”