The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... Fitzgerald will be 32 when he catches another significant pass. He's coming off his least productive season since 2004, his rookie year. But the first fact didn't lead to the second, at least not in Fitzgerald's eyes. "I can still play the game at a high level, given the opportunity to go out there and thrive," he said on Monday.
Diehards Line:What happened last season, Fitzgerald said, was due mostly to bad luck. Fitzgerald suffered two knee sprains, and the Cardinals lost their top two quarterbacks, Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton, to knee injuries. "It was fluke stuff, too," Fitzgerald said. In addition, Fitzgerald's role under HC Bruce Arians has changed. He doesn't run many deep patterns any more, and last year he lined up in the slot position more often. "Larry struggled early when we gave him two- or three-way options," Arians said at the NFL meetings last month. "He has progressed so much, I don't think there is any doubt they can go down on an option route and Carson will know where he is going and the ball is on time. Larry is going to make the big, physical catches inside. He's a true mismatch inside." In the five games before Palmer's injury, he and Fitzgerald were starting to inflict consistent damage on defenses. Fitzgerald averaged six catches and almost 90 yards in those games, and scored his only two touchdowns. Palmer should be ready for training camp this summer.