TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Larry Fitzgerald is the most formidable receiver struggling in Arizona's impotent offense, but the whole group is contending with problems often beyond its control.
Bad passes and missed blocks in the protection have thwarted big plays that seemed ripe for the taking. Sometimes when that goes right, the receiver drops the ball. It's been that kind of year in Arizona, where the Cardinals take a seven-game losing streak into Sunday's road game against the New York Jets.
Now injuries have added to the problem. Andre Roberts, the No. 2 receiver behind Fitzgerald, missed practice for a second straight day Thursday with an ankle injury, although he said he was "very optimistic" he would be able to play Sunday. Early Doucet, usually the No. 3 receiver, missed Sunday's home loss to St. Louis with injured ribs and has been limited in practice this week.
Asked to assess the receivers as a whole, coach Ken Whisenhunt said, "It's hard to assess any position. We haven't had enough consistency or continuity offensively this year."
"Our guys are trying, we've got to get better," he said. "Last week we had a good half of football. If we don't turn the ball over, it could have been a very good day for us offensively. We've just got to build off of that."
Doucet's injury opened the way for the NFL debut of undrafted rookie LaRon Byrd, who took a vicious hit against the Rams and left the game with dizziness. He said he has been cleared to play this week.
One player who has taken advantage of his opportunities is first-round draft pick Michael Floyd, who had seen his playing time grow even before Doucet was hurt.
Floyd had dropped some passes early and said he took it to heart. After eight catches in his first seven games, Floyd has 16 for 169 yards in his last four.
"I'm always my worst critic," he said. "I mean, I'm yelling at me, I get down on myself more than anybody else could. But it's always motivation because I expect a lot out of myself to be productive and make plays when they come my way."