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Larry Fitzgerald limited by knee injury in opener

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Coach Bruce Arians explained Tuesday that the Arizona Cardinals will no longer force the ball to Larry Fitzgerald if the No. 1 receiver is not open.

On Wednesday, Arians disclosed another reason for Fitzgerald's reduced role in the season-opening victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Arians revealed that a knee injury going back to the third preseason game limited Fitzgerald in practices and led to his removal on a series of third downs on Monday night.

"I learned my lesson last year not to ask (Larry) to do things in a game that you're not practicing," Arians said, via the team's official website. "It's not fair to the quarterback either."

It's an interesting explanation by Arians. Fitzgerald's production fell off last season due to a pair of hamstring injuries. Perhaps Arians believes the entire offense suffered because Carson Palmer's best receiver was too limited on game days.

Kurt Warner relied heavily on Fitzgerald's ability to make plays even when he didn't appear to be open. Between last year's hamstring woes and this year's knee limitations, Arians and Carson Palmer have yet to establish that same level of trust.

Fantasy footballers might find it worth noting that Fitzgerald is not listed on this week's injury report. He was designated as "probable" last week after sitting out practice on Tuesday and fully participating the rest of the way.

The latest "Around The NFL Podcast" makes some bold predictions about the 2014 season and backs them up by putting some sandwiches on the line.

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