DeAndre Hopkins suspended for performance-enhancing drugs

Arizona WR DeAndre Hopkins was suspended for six games for violating the NFL's PED policy.

Arizona WR DeAndre Hopkins was suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s PED policy.
Image: Getty Images

Just as the future was starting to look bright for the Arizona Cardinals, it’s been tough since Week 14. They led not just the NFC West, but the entire conference for much of the season. No. 1 wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins then went down with an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a home loss to division rivals the Los Angeles Rams. With Hopkins out, they would miss three of their last four games of the regular season and were coached in a wild card playoff loss on the road to the Rams, 34–11.

It might be difficult for the Cardinals to get off to the same brilliant start they had last season because, as of now, they will be without one of the best wide receivers in the NFL for the first six games of the season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is communicating that Hopkins will be suspended for six games due to a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. No COVID vaccine, but he is using substances banned by the NFL. Maybe he’s just afraid of needles.

This is not exciting news for the cardinals for a few reasons. Chief among them is that his offense is significantly better with Hopkins in the lineup. With a balanced roster, his defense finished the season ninth in DVOA weighted, Kliff Kingsbury’s group looks on paper as a team that’s ready to be a contender in a less-than-stellar NFC. Without the threat Hopkins offers as an unstoppable force at the wide receiver, 114 receptions for 1,407 yards in his first season with the Cardinals in 2020 makes life that much harder for undersized quarterback Kyler Murray.

Speaking of Murray, the Cardinals’ relationship with him has been a little rocky since their playoff loss. He reportedly withdrew from the game at the end and later during the offseason. rubbed their social media accounts from anything to do with the cardinals. The organization supposedly he felt he needed to be a better leader and have more responsibility.

In recent weeks, the relationship seems to have improved. Murray released a statement that he is committed to the Cardinals, though he and some other veterans do not report to the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning. The Cardinals also seem willing to give him what he certainly wants, some of that quarterback’s real money. The 2019 first overall pick proved to be a dynamic player and led the franchise to its first playoff berth since 2015. Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said Adam Schein on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio that with the draft complete, they might take the time this summer to negotiate with Murray — which is when, he said, deals for players like him are usually made.

Fortunately for them, they made a move to strengthen their receiving body with their draft day trade to acquire Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Murray’s former Oklahoma teammate. It’s a move Murray is certainly in favor of, and they better rediscover their 2018 season connection quickly, because it’s not like Brown is putting Hopkins as stats with the Baltimore Ravens, even during Lamar Jackson’s 2020 MVP season. .

These two under-6 players will have to join forces with another member of their club, Rondale Moore, to try to be quick enough to keep this team competitive until Hopkins can provide the offense with what people judge competence to be. of the Houston Texans for not retaining him. Hopkins is a player who is open on almost every downhill. He doesn’t have to be passing someone else or taking a perfectly timed route. Sometimes he may just run to a point, turn around and use his athleticism and size to get the ball out of the air.

While the Cardinals have taken the right step to try to mitigate that loss, they will still be without one of the best players in the NFL for more than a third of the 2022 season. pat yourself on the back for a second. They made the playoffs for the first time since Peyton Manning was still in the NFL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.