Larry Fitzgerald was back at practice Thursday, practicing fully after suffering a concussion Sunday in Tennessee – and the very first drill he took part in was recovering an onside kick as part of the “hands” unit.

The very same play on which he got hurt against the Titans.

But Fitzgerald said he wasn’t leery of staying on the “hands” team going forward, calling it a “privilege.”

“It’s an honor to go and close the game out,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s like Mariano Rivera coming out on the mound. You’re out there to close it out. That’s what our job is.”

Fitzgerald still must pass one last test Friday before he will be cleared to play this week, but the veteran wide receiver is confident he will be active against the Seahawks in Seattle
Sunday. He said he hasn’t had any setbacks that would make him think he couldn’t play.

“This is my first (concussion), uncharted territory for me,” Fitzgerald said, adding that he hadn’t had one in high school or college either. “It’s a serious issue, but I want to be out there and play. I will do everything I can to protect myself and my brain, but this is football, a tough sport played by tough men. It’s my job.”

Fitzgerald has played in 104 straight games, including the Cardinals’ six playoff games during his career. He hadn’t practiced Wednesday but did some side work with athletic trainer Chad Cook and had no problems. He was told he could try to ramp it up Thursday and had no ill effects.

Fitzgerald saw a video of the concussion-causing hit for the first time Thursday. He said he didn’t think the hit by Titans running back Jackie Battle was excessive, just that he wasn’t prepared for it.

“In a game offensively, I see (Seattle safety) Earl Thomas and I know I’m running a skinny (route), I know where he is at so I can brace myself for the collision and catch the football,” Fitzgerald said. “In that situation, I have no idea where the guy is coming from. I can’t brace myself. I’m in a vulnerable position. He caught me. Hey, Muhammad Ali got caught a couple of times too.”

Yet Fitzgerald was clear he didn’t see the need to change the rule on an onside kick and noted it’s the first time he’s absorbed such a hit in a decade of playing on the onsides team in the NFL. He also admitted there is “concern” with suffering a concussion with the subject such a hot topic around the NFL these days.

“But I’m like anybody else -- I want to do my job and have a good time and play and win and play while I have the opportunity,” Fitzgerald said. “There is no telling how long I will be able to play this game, how long any of us can play this game or live life. I have the opportunity to do something I truly love and that’s how I think about it.

“I understand the ramifications and seen the studies and seen the guys who have dealt with issues. I am aware of all that.”