|Fitzgerald struggled badly vs. San Francisco. (AP)|
Facing off against one of the best teams in the NFC -- not to mention an NFC West rival -- the Cardinals could ill afford to lose their best player on offense.
And while Arizona didn't lose Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals receiver had little impact in the scorebook, making just one catch for 13 yards when the game was actually in doubt (he also caught four other passes for 39 yards in garbage time during San Francisco's easy 24-3 victory).
In a perfect summation of Arizona's struggles Monday, Fitzgerald caught a pass from John Skelton on the Cardinals final play of the game, and though he made repeated attempts against multiple San Francisco defenders to break the goal line with the ball, he fell short by a yard and turned the ball over on down.
One problem for Fitzgerald Monday was that his head was slammed into the ground while trying to make a catch early in the game, and immediately, trainers reportedly evaluated him for a concussion. He also reportedly was given smelling salts to help get him ready to go back in the game.
Then, in the third quarter, while attempting to catch a John Skelton pass in the end zone, his helmet hit the turf again. Afterward, it appeared as though Cardinals trainers were attempting to flush out one of Fitzgerald's eyes.
To make matters worse, the 49ers also appeared to grab and twist Fitzgerald's face mask at one point, though the officials never threw a flag.
So, yeah, it was a painful night for Fitzgerald, who entered the game with 40 catches for 459 yards and three touchdowns on the season.
But even if Fitzgerald was completely healthy -- and after the game, he said he was fine -- it likely wouldn't have mattered much because the Cardinals defense couldn't tackle the 49ers skill players and because Arizona's offense (in particular, the offensive line) struggled mightily against San Francisco.
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