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The Cardinals' free fall continued Sunday with an epic 58-0 loss at Seattle that left Larry Fitzgerald's father to conclude that Arizona has quit on the season.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt apologized to fans after Arizona lost its ninth consecutive game. Larry Fitzgerald Sr. took to Twitter to express his frustration with the direction of his son's team.
"Definition of team quitting? 9 losses n a row. 9th loss 58-0! Injuries handling of offense worst nNFL. Adrian Wilson & Darnell Dockett situations!" he tweeted.
Wilson, in his 12th season with the Cardinals, has seen his playing time diminish in recent weeks and on Sunday expressed doubt he'd be back with Arizona. Dockett was fined a "six-figures" amount last week for allegedly spitting at teammate Kerry Rhodes and disobeying the team's plan to let the Jets score in a loss to New York two weeks ago, a source told ESPN.Fitzgerald's All-Pro talents are being wasted with the Cardinals' unsettled quarterback situation, and with just three games left in the season, his streak of 1,000-yard seasons is in jeopardy of ending at five. Fitzgerald, who had just one catch for 2 yards in Sunday's loss, has just 652 yards this season. Fitzgerald has 11, 31, 23 and 2 yards in his past four games and just six catches in that span.
The 29-year-old Fitzgerald, who signed an eight-year, $120 million contract in 2011, hasn't publicly criticized his quarterbacks' play.
Fitzgerald Sr. tweeted that the last time his son had to endure this big a blowout loss was in high school and he put his son in a different school as a result.
"Larry was n this situation last was in high school. Got beat 75-6 Dela Salle over Minnehaha. We talked about that today. I pulled him out," he wrote. "I Transferred him to Holy Angels. This is the NFL. Humbling embarrassing frustrating angering disappointing painful. What happens when u quit!"
The 58-0 result was the worst shutout loss in the history of the Cardinals, and Arizona's nine-game losing streak is the franchise's longest since 1944. Whisenhunt issued an apology after the game.
"I apologize to our fans and everyone associated with our organization. That was embarrassing," he said. "We owe it to them, our fans, our supports to give them a better product than we did today and going forward that's what we've got to do, we've got to work to get better than that."
It's hard to believe the Cardinals were once 4-0, including a win at New England. But Arizona's season has disintegrated since quarterback Kevin Kolb was lost to a rib injury in Week 6. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Cardinals are the first team in NFL history to start a season 4-0, then lose nine straight.
John Skelton got the call at quarterback Sunday and turned the ball over five times. Skelton was 11 of 22 for 74 yards, with a passer rating of 18.2. He was replaced in the second half by rookie Ryan Lindley, but the offense didn't get any better.When asked after the game who would play quarterback, Whisenhunt said jokingly, "Do you play?"
The Cardinals weren't much better the previous week against the Jets, with Lindley making his second NFL start. In the 7-6 loss, Arizona tied a franchise record with five first downs and was 0 for 15 on third-down conversions. Lindley completed 10 of 31 passes for 72 yards and an interception.
"Let's face it, part of our struggles have been tied to the inconsistencies at that position," Whisenhunt said. "You've got to have something there and can cover up other areas, and we're not getting that."
Free-agent quarterback Vince Young, meanwhile, sees the Cardinals' woeful situation at the position as an opportunity. He sent a tweet to Fitzgerald on Sunday asking the receiver to put in a good word for him.
"You know I can help tell coach," he wrote in the tweet to Fitzgerald.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.