Veteran Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald described fairly mild physical symptoms during his 13-day absence from the Cardinals after testing positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago.
The mental aspect was much more taxing.
“The scariest part is nobody can really give you any answers,” Fitzgerald said on Thursday. “You learn new information every single day. You feel symptoms and you ask, and nobody can really tell you it’s going to be better or this is how long it usually lasts. There’s no real answers. You’re mind kind of wanders, you’re sitting at home, watching TV, you see the cases and the deaths across the nation and all these things are running through your mind.”
“Obviously, you worry.”
The 37-year-old Fitzgerald said there were “a couple days I didn’t feel great” and that he lost 9 pounds during quarantine because he didn’t have much of an appetite. He said he still doesn’t have much of a sense of taste or smell, but feels fortunate that he’s generally feeling much better and hopes to play on Sunday against the New York Giants.
He went on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Nov. 26 and was activated on Tuesday.
Fitzgerald hopes his presence can bring some added energy to the Cardinals, who are in the NFC playoff hunt with a 6-6 record. Arizona has struggled over the past month, losing four out of five games, including three straight. The 17-year veteran has been selected for 11 Pro Bowl appearances and has caught the second-most passes in NFL history behind Jerry Rice.
He has 43 catches for 336 yards in 10 games this season.
“It stinks to not be out there and help your team,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s a pretty helpless feeling to sit there on your couch and not be able to do anything. Can’t talk to anybody. You’re not helping anything.”
He said one positive from his COVID-19 experience is that he received hundreds of text messages each day offering support and encouragement and added it quickly readjusts priorities in life. He kept occupied by doing projects around the house, including updating his will and estate planning.
“It makes you really appreciate the health that you have,” Fitzgerald said.
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