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Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is keeping an upbeat attitude in the wake of DeAndre Hopkins’ six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Speaking to reporters about his star wide receiver, Kingsbury said the Cardinals will “be fired up” when Hopkins returns.
The NFL announced Hopkins’ suspension on May 2. He issued a statement on Twitter saying that he was “confused and shocked” when the test results came back with “trace elements of a banned substance” and he is investigating what happened.
Deandre Hopkins @DeAndreHopkins
See you Week 7. pic.twitter.com/rHTofEx7jK
The Cardinals acquired Marquise Brown from the Baltimore Ravens during the 2022 NFL draft to help offset Hopkins’ suspension. He, A.J. Green and tight end Zach Ertz figure to be featured heavily until Hopkins returns, while 2021 second-round pick Rondale Moore should get an uptick in usage as well.
Brown and Kyler Murray were teammates for two seasons at Oklahoma from 2017-18. Brown was the Sooners’ leading receiver in 2018 with 1,318 yards when Murray won the Heisman Trophy.
Things fell apart for Arizona’s offense last season when it had to play without Hopkins. He missed eight of the final 10 games, including the playoffs, with a hamstring injury and torn MCL.
The Cardinals were 7-1 and averaged 30.8 points over the first eight weeks of the season with Hopkins. They went 4-6 and averaged 21.4 points per game after he injured his hamstring.
Arizona lost five of its last six games to end the 2021 season. The stretch included a 34-11 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card game.
Hopkins led the team with eight touchdown receptions, despite only playing in 10 games. The five-time Pro Bowler will be eligible to return for Arizona’s Week 7 game against the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 20.