In the recently-completed weekend of not trying, one key player for a team that was playing for nothing played a lot longer than he should have played on Sunday against the Packers.
Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who escaped a serious knee injury three weeks ago against the 49ers, was in the game against the Packers long after Kurt Warner, Adrian Wilson, Karlos Dansby, and Darnell Dockett were gone.
According to Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic, who called the development “inexcusable,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said that Fitzgerald kept playing because he wanted to score a touchdown. (He eventually did.)
Fitzgerald offered up a different explanation.
“Coach didn’t ask me to come out of the game,” Fitzgerald said, per Bickley. “That’s my job, to play ball until he tells me to come out.”
Our guess? This case provides another glimpse behind the facade that is Fitzgerald’s carefully-crafted public image. He strives to say all the right things, but remains not much different than the receivers who don’t mind being perceived as self-centered. Or who can’t hide it.