The hectic offseason for the Arizona Cardinals continues on, with star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins facing a suspension to begin the upcoming season.
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that Hopkins violated the NFL’s performance enhancing drug policy, costing him the opening six games of the 2022 season. Hopkins can still participate in training camp and preseason games.
Hopkins, a five-time pro-bowler and three-time all-pro, missed seven games in total last season. Some due to an injured hamstring before a knee injury ended his season. The former Clemson Tiger later had surgery to repair the injury to his MCL.
Monumental loss for the Cardinals’ offense
Hopkins has been the number one option for quarterback Kyler Murray since the Arizona Cardinals acquired the wideout ahead of the 2020 season. In that season, he led the offense by a wide margin in all major receiving categories. Hopkins had 115 receptions for 1,407 yards, averaging 87.9 yard per game
Amongst all NFL pass catchers in 2020, Hopkins was tied for second in receptions, third in receiving yards, and fifth in average yards per game.
Hopkins’ numbers were skewed in 2021 because of the seven games he missed, but he was still performing at a high level when available. Before 2021, Hopkins only missed two games in his career.
Hopkins was reportedly surprised by the suspension. He tweeted out that he was “confused and shocked,” by the ruling.
“I am very mindful of what I put in my body and have always taken a holistic approach, so I am working with my team to investigate how this could’ve happened,” Hopkins tweeted.
Clarity on the Marquise Brown trade
On NFL Draft night, the Cardinals made a shocking move when they traded the 23rd pick for Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown and a third-round pick.
This draft had a number of highly touted wide receivers, so some were confused as to why Arizona opted to deal for Brown rather than taking a rookie. If the Cardinals were aware the Hopkins suspension was looming, they may have preferred to add a more NFL-ready receiver in Brown rather than having to deal with the potential growing pains from drafting a rookie.
Brown, too, had been a top option in his old offense. ‘Hollywood’ ranked second in most major receiving stats for Baltimore last season.
Cardinals win total over/under
Not all AZ Sportsbooks have posted the win totals for NFL teams, but those that have removed the Cardinals as a betting option while the handicappers set a new total.
One thing that’s all but guaranteed is Arizona’s win total will drop because of the Hopkins suspension.
The Cardinals did use some early-round draft capital to fill some gaps on defense. If those players can make an immediate impact, there’s still hope in the desert that Arizona can surpass its win total.