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TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will see his second independent neurologist Tuesday with hopes of confirming his positive results from Monday's baseline tests stemming from a concussion he suffered Sunday against Tennessee.
"I was right where I needed to be," Fitzgerald told Westwood One radio during its coverage of Monday Night Football about Monday's tests.
"At that point it's just about how I feel. But right now, I'm feeling good. I'm going to get some rest [Monday], get some rest [Tuesday] and get back to work for a big game against Seattle next week."
|Larry Fitzgerald said "I was a little out of it," after taking this hit while trying to recover an onside kick.|
Fitzgerald said his results Monday matched the baseline tests the Cardinals gave him back in the spring when he was "full functioning in the offseason."
All Fitzgerald remembers from the hit, which took place during an onside kick with 52 seconds left in the fourth quarter, was watching the ball and the next thing Fitzgerald knew, he was being helped off the field by a team doctor and trainer.
"I was a little out of it," Fitzgerald said. "[My] equilibrium was lost a bit but our training staff did an unbelievable job.
"[The training staff] felt that it was in my best interests not to come back into the game. And I appreciate those guys looking out for my best interests because I really wanted to go back in."
Fitzgerald, on the field as part of the Cardinals' hands team, got a hold of the kick in midair and was hit by Tennessee's Jackie Battle, in what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet collision.
Fitzgerald lost the ball, which was recovered by Titans safety Daimion Stafford, and Tennessee tied the game at 34 on the ensuing possession when Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Michael Preston for an 8-yard touchdown to cap a 54-yard drive that took 44 seconds. Arizona won in overtime, 37-34, on a 41-yard field goal by Jay Feely.
Fitzgerald said he will follow team and league protocol but is trying to get back on the field as quick as he can so he can play at Seattle on Sunday.
"I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that I am recovering at a fast rate so I can be out there with my team come Sunday," Fitzgerald said.
In the aftermath of the Fitzgerald injury, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he believes that players who field onside kicks that hit the ground first should be considered defenseless, thus making that kind of hit on Fitzgerald illegal. According to the NFL rule book, there are eight types of defenseless players and just one involves kick and punt returners, but only if the kick is fielded in the air.
"I think it's something the competition committee is going to have to address because they're not defenseless players on the grounded kick," Arians said. "We didn't do a good job of blocking the guy that hit Larry. A rookie made a mistake and got fooled. Onside kicks are part of the game. I'd hate to see them change. That one will be addressed."
Palmer suffered a high left ankle sprain in the third quarter that initially looked worse than the official diagnosis. The injuries continue to pile up for Palmer, who played the last two weeks with a sore right throwing elbow.
Arians felt fortunate that Palmer has been durable this season, especially with the amount of hits he's taken. Palmer has been sacked 38 times in 14 games. Arians was especially concerned after Palmer was hit by Titans defensive end Kamerion Wimbley, who was flagged for roughing the passer, that Palmer wouldn't be able to execute the handoff on the next play, a one-yard touchdown run by Rashard Mendenhall in the first quarter.
"I'm sure [Palmer will] be fine," Arians said. "I would like to have him as mobile as possible against this pass rush and that noise [in Seattle]. It's going to be extremely difficult but it is what it is."
The one injury Arians seemed to be most concerned about was Johnson's. His high ankle sprain could force him to miss Sunday's game in Seattle, which would mean the Cardinals would start their third different free safety in as many weeks. Rookie Tyrann Mathieu was lost for the season against St. Louis and Johnson took his place, and if he can't go, rookie Tony Jefferson will get the start and Curtis Taylor will be his backup.
"I'm concerned that we lost both our safeties in the last two weeks," Arians said. "We're down to a rookie but it's Week 15 or 16, whatever the heck it is. He's not really a rookie anymore.
"Curtis hasn't played any, so if he's out there, I'll be a little worried because of the drop off from Tyrann and Rashad."