On the heels of Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury telling reporters that players were in the process of trying to coordinate their annual workouts in Minneapolis, the ring leader confirmed those intentions on Friday.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who organizes the training every year in the Minnesota area, said he returned home to Minneapolis 10 days earlier than he was originally planning due to the killing of African-American George Floyd by a white police officer, an event that sparked major controversy and protests across the country.
Fitzgerald went back to get a clearer picture from high-level officials in the area and come to terms with his community in the wake of the events that transpired as a result of Floyd's death. Add that on top of the altered NFL offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there has been a lot for the veteran wideout to manage.
Yet, as restrictions are eased and stay-at-home orders are lifted, Fitzgerald and his Cardinals teammates are now in the process of trying to organize their annual in-person workouts in Minneapolis. It will be even more crucial this year as a result of the cancellation of rookie minicamps, OTAs and mandatory veteran minicamps.
"We've been in talks," Fitzgerald told reporters via teleconference Friday. "But trying to coordinate schedules from everybody — and then you have to think about the airlines, how many locations they got down. We're trying to get guys from everywhere to one location, logistically trying to do that. We're working on it and we plan to get together one or two times hopefully before the week of (training) camp.
"I've been in constant contact with Kliff and talked to (quarterback) Kyler (Murray) quite often and all of my teammates to keep in touch. The plan is — we've thrown here and there, but guys live all around the country and during these unprecedented times guys want to be in areas where they're safe and they feel like they can be protected with loved ones."
For Murray's part, he has spent a majority of the quarantine in Dallas, Tex., according to wide receiver Christian Kirk. Still, he has been praised by several members of the organization for his attentiveness during the virtual meetings, as well as his willingness to absorb new information in his attempt to grow in his second season as a professional.
"I know Kyler is anxious to get with his teammates, from talking to him," Fitzgerald said. "He loves being around us and wants to just take it to the next level and build on what he was able to accomplish last year as the NFL (Offensive) Rookie of the Year. He's got a lot of guys who just want to go out there and play well for him and he wants to do the same for us. Hopefully we'll be able to do it here pretty soon."