Larry Fitzgerald expecting to play
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was a full participant in practice Thursday and will see his third neurologist of the week on Friday, the last hurdle between him and the field in Seattle on Sunday.
Fitzgerald began Thursday's practice by going through individual drills and running routes. When he didn't show any symptoms of the concussion he had suffered this past Sunday, Arizona's trainers allowed him to go through a full practice. He was officially listed as limited in practice.
"No setbacks," Fitzgerald said. "I'll be ready to go again tomorrow."
Fitzgerald needs Friday's neurologist, who is the independent neurological consultant assigned to the Cardinals by the NFL, to clear him in order to play against the Seahawks. Fitzgerald, who said he is right where he needs to be after following the league protocol for concussions, expects that to happen.
"I'm feeling good," he said. "I'm making progress, not having any setbacks, anything that would make me feel I wouldn't be able to go Sunday. I'm fully functioning."
Fitzgerald passed all his tests at Tuesday's visit with a different neurologist and began the exercise portion of the protocol on Wednesday with assistant athletic trainer Chad Cook, who put Fitzgerald through a series of drills to get his heart rate and "exhaust" Fitzgerald so the training staff could see how the receiver reacted to exertion.
"I was feeling fine," Fitzgerald said. "I had no dizziness or headaches or anything like that. They said it was cool for me to ramp it up a little bit and go out there and practice."
Fitzgerald was back practicing on the hands team Thursday.
He doesn't remember the hit by Tennessee's Jackie Battle late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 37-34 overtime win, but Fitzgerald won't let that discourage him from running back out there for onside kicks.
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"It's a privilege to be on the hands team," Fitzgerald said. "That's an honor to go out there and close the game out. When you go out there, it's like Mariano Rivera coming out on the mound. You're out there to close it out. That's what our job is."
After watching a replay of the hit Thursday, Fitzgerald didn't think Battle's hit was excessive. Fitzgerald took the blame for putting himself in a vulnerable position and not protecting himself.
"Muhammad Ali got knocked out a couple times, too," Fitzgerald said. "It just happens. He caught me flush."
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