Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

Cardinals prepare for 6 games without suspended star Hopkins

  • Updated
  • 0

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — DeAndre Hopkins darted up the field Saturday at practice, made a quick cut and then a nice catch as Arizona Cardinals fans cheered in approval.

It's a moment they won't see again in the near future.

The Cardinals will play their first six games of the season without the three-time All-Pro receiver, who was suspended in May for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He can return Oct. 20 for a Thursday night game against the New Orleans Saints.

“It's football, it's life, I've been through worse things in life than having to sit out six games,” Hopkins said Saturday. “So for me, mentally, I think I've prepared for tough moments like this."

Hopkins is still not exactly sure what caused him to test positive for a substance that he's previously said was a small amount of Ostarine.

“I've never took a supplement, I've never took any of that kind of stuff,” Hopkins said. “Obviously, if you know about what it is, it can be a shampoo, it can be in a lot of different things. The NFL is very black and white, so of course, I wish the rule wasn't so black and white, but it is what it is.”

There's little doubt the suspension is a big blow for the Cardinals, who have played much better when Hopkins is on the field. Arizona was 8-2 last season in games that he played and 3-5 in games he missed, including a 34-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card round.

He caught 42 passes for 572 yards and eight touchdowns last season, but even more than the numbers, he's valuable because opposing defenses have to give him so much attention.

“He lifts the entire offense when he's out there,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “He elevates our level of play. We saw it statistically when he was in, when he was out. The way he competes, the way he talks trash, everybody tends to step up when he's out there.”

The 30-year-old Hopkins is allowed to practice and play in preseason games before his suspension begins in September. Kingsbury says it's good to have him out on the field during camp, but they also want to make sure he stays healthy. He missed the final five games of last season because of a knee injury.

“You've got to save him from himself a little bit,” Kingsbury said. “We're going to be smart. It does us no good to ramp him up like it's Week 1 and he's got two more months to sit.”

The Cardinals will lean on the newly acquired Marquise Brown, A.J. Green, Rondale Moore and tight end Zach Ertz to fill the receiving void while Hopkins is out. Brown caught 91 passes for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns last season for the Ravens — big numbers in Baltimore's run-heavy offense.

“We’ve got a great team,” Hopkins said. “I’m sure those guys will go out and get it done.”

NOTES: Kingsbury said RB James Conner and QB Kyler Murray were limited at practice on Saturday. Kingsbury said Murray has been “throwing a ton, he reported early with the rookies, so we're going to rest his arm.” ... Kingsbury said he hopes starting left tackle D.J. Humphries (illness) will be back on the field new week.

More AP NFL: and

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Arizona Cardinals receiver Marquise Brown has been arrested and charged with criminal speeding. Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves confirmed Brown was arrested in north Phoenix and booked in the Maricopa County Jail. No other details were immediately available. Brown was acquired in a draft-day deal with the Baltimore Ravens and is expected to play a big role in Arizona’s offense, especially during the first six weeks when three-time All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins is out because of a suspension.

Detroit Lions rookie offensive tackle Zein Obeid has retired, the fourth player to end his career with the team in two months. Lions coach Dan Campbell said Monday that Kendall Lamm was signed to fill Obeid’s roster spot. Obeid, who played at Ferris State, was an undrafted rookie as were recent retirees Jermaine Waller, a defensive back from Virginia Tech, and Corey Sutton, a former Appalachian State receiver. Defensive tackle John Penisini retired in late July after starting 12 games as a sixth-round pick in 2020 and playing in 16 games as a reserve last year.

The Tennessee Titans have placed center Daniel Munyer on injured reserve and signed offensive lineman Willie Wright and defensive back Terrell Bonds. The Titans also waived injured defensive back Chris Williamson. The 6-foot-3 Wright was a three-year starter at Tulsa. He spent the 2019 season on Cleveland’s practice squad and 2020 on Atlanta’s practice squad. Wright was released by Chicago last week. Bonds played 10 games in the USFL this spring with one interception. He spent much of his first two NFL seasons on Baltimore's practice squad.

The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a four-year contract extension with star kicker Justin Tucker. His previous deal was through 2023. Tucker has been a game changer for the Ravens in his 10 years with the team. He’s made a record 91.1% of his field goal attempts, and his 1,360 points are the most ever by a player through his first 10 seasons. He set another record last year with a 66-yard kick at Detroit that won the game. He is 16 of 16 on field goal attempts in the final minute of regulation and has converted 58 straight in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ use of the hallucinogenic drink ayahuasca during an offseason retreat isn’t considered a violation of the NFL’s drug policy. Rodgers discussed on “The Aubrey Marcus Podcast” last week how he went on an ayahuasca retreat to Peru in 2020. Ayahuasca is defined as a psychoactive beverage native to South America and is often used for religious, ritualistic or medicinal purposes. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says it wouldn’t have triggered a positive test result on either the substance abuse or performance-enhancing substance policies collectively bargained by the NFL and its players’ association.

The Denver Broncos have signed two free agents after placing starting wide receiver Tim Patrick and backup running back Damarea Crockett on injured reserve. Patrick and Crockett tore ACLs at practice Tuesday. The Broncos replaced Patrick with third-year receiver Darrius Shepherd. He played two seasons in Green Bay when Broncos first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett was the Packers' offensive coordinator. The Broncos replaced Crockett with rookie Max Borghi. He's a native of Arvada, Colorado, and starred at Washington State.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. will miss the remainder of the preseason after having surgery on his injured thumb. Coach Kevin O’Connell announced the procedure. Smith was hurt during practice Monday. He's on track to return for the season opener on Sept. 11. Smith missed the entire 2021 season after surgery on his injured knee. The Vikings are counting on him as their top player at the position this year. Smith has 676 yards and seven touchdowns over two NFL seasons, after being drafted in the second round out of Alabama in 2019.

Josh Jacobs and rookie Zamir White ran well on a rain-soaked field and the Raiders routed Jacksonville 27-11 in the Hall of Fame game Thursday night, spoiling coach Doug Pederson’s first game with the Jaguars. Derek Carr and Davante Adams warmed up but they didn’t get a chance to play their first game together since Fresno State. Carr, the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback, and Adams, the All-Pro receiver acquired in blockbuster trade with Green Bay, were among many starters who sat out for both teams. Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence wore a backward cap on the sideline while third-string quarterback Jake Luton was started. The NFL’s first preseason game began 40 minutes late due to severe weather that forced fans to seek shelter.

The Indianapolis Colts put on their helmets and pads and got back to football one week after reporting to training camp. It was the first full practice for coach Frank Reich's team since an inexplicable, season-ending loss at Jacksonville knocked Indy out of the playoffs. The lingering thoughts from that debacle provided motivation throughout the offseason. And now the Colts hope to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alert

Breaking News