On Thursday, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald opened up about his battle with COVID-19 after his recent positive diagnosis.
Fitzgerald returned to practice this week with his Cardinals teammates following his stint on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list. The wide receiver has been on the list since Arizona placed him there on Thanksgiving.
He spoke with reporters on Thursday who asked him about his experience with the coronavirus. He said he began to feel symptoms two days after testing positive. In addition, he said the symptoms stayed with him until the Monday after the November holiday.
“I think the scariest part, and I think anybody that’s had it, is nobody really can give you any answers,” Fitzgerald said. “You learn new information every single day. You feel symptoms and you ask, and nobody really can tell you, ‘It’s gonna be better,’ or, ‘This is how long it would usually last.'”
The third overall draft pick in 2004 said that he’s feeling much better now. But, he said that at times while quarantining he worried about his health. The wide receiver said the virus made him appreciate his health and that it made him “reevaluate things.”
“You really kind of just reevaluate things,” Fitzgerald explained. “It makes you really appreciate the health that you have and talking to your kids every day and to see their concern.”
Fitzgerald revealed that he still has some issues with his taste and smell. Additionally, he shared that he lost nine pounds while sick and in lockdown at home. At one point he worried so much about his well-being that he even revised his will. Yet, the 11-time Pro Bowl receiver did find time at home to be productive once he felt better.
“It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary,” he said. “I was productive with the time at the house. When you have that kind of time to literally do nothing and no obligations, you tend to try to fill it with things that you need to get done. So I guess I was as productive as you could be during that time.”
Fitzgerald Gained New Perspective While in Quarantine
Fitzgerald said he received 200 to 400 text messages and phone calls per day checking in on him. He said football didn’t cross his mind very much since he was mainly focused on staying alive.
“It was more so the immediate future, like, you know, staying alive and things of that nature,” Fitzgerald claimed. “Football, and how long I play football, didn’t really cross my mind. So, those kinds of things really put life in perspective, and you really appreciate the things that you do have in life.”
As the Arizona Cardinals look to get back to playing winning football on Sundays, Fitzgerald’s return is a welcome addition. The team went 5-2 to start the season, but have faltered since then. They’ve only won one game since Week 7, and currently are 6-6 on the season. They’re two games back in the NFC West, and still fighting for a playoff spot with four remaining games on their schedule.
“When you’re playing in the game, you’re really concerned about what your job is and what you need to be doing and how you can be effective to help your team,” Fitzgerald said about watching Arizona play from home. “When you’re actually taking a step back, a bird’s-eye view, you see a lot more.”
“You do see things that you normally wouldn’t see when you’re playing, and actually it was pretty helpful to be able to observe from a distance,” he added.