The Arizona Cardinals will have to find a way to win games and score points without their best receiver.
Three-time All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended without pay for six games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced Monday.
Hopkins released a statement via social media Monday night, stating that he was shocked and confused to discover he had tested positive for banned substances.
The statement stated that "I am extremely mindful of what I put into my body and have always taken an holistic approach to it, so I am working together with my team to determine how this could've occurred." "But I was not as careful as I should have been. I sincerely apologize to Cardinals fans, my team, and the entire Cardinals organisation. I don't want to let my team down."
This is a huge blow to the Cardinals who had an 11-6 record last year but suffered a slowdown when Hopkins was injured. Arizona posted an 8-2 record with Hopkins in the lineup, and a mere 3-5 when Hopkins was out. This includes the playoffs.
They'll be without their 29-year old receiver, who will turn 30 next month, for a large portion of the upcoming season.
Hopkins was a part of 10 games last year, catching 42 passes for 572 yard and eight touchdowns. Due to hamstring and knee injuries, he missed the second half of the season.
The Cardinals made up for Hopkins' loss by adding a receiver to their team during the NFL draft last week, when they acquired Marquise Brown from Baltimore for the No. 23rd overall pick. Brown was a 1,000-yard receiver last year and was college friends with Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray when they were at Oklahoma.
Brown, veteran A.J., will likely play a larger role in Hopkins' suspension. Green and Rondale Moore, second-year standout, were joined by tight end Zach Ertz during the first six weeks of the season.
Hopkins was one of the most productive receivers in the league during his nine-year-long career. He has also had six 1,000-yard seasons. After seven seasons playing with the Texans, he was traded to the Cardinals in 2020.
Hopkins can participate in preseason games and practices.