DeAndre Hopkins Suspended for Six Games After Testing Positive for PEDs
DeAndre Hopkins, the standout wide receiver from the Arizona Cardinals, will be sidelined for the first six games of the 2022 NFL season due to a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Although Hopkins vehemently denies using banned substances, he received a red flag during a test administered in November 2021. In a social media post on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, Hopkins expressed confusion and shock over the results, asserting that he has never tested positive for PEDs throughout his 10-year career. He emphasized his commitment to a holistic approach in taking care of his body and pledged to work with his team to investigate the circumstances surrounding the test. Hopkins also apologized to Cardinals fans, teammates, and the organization for any disappointment caused and stated his intentions to conduct his own investigation to unravel the mix-up involving PEDs.
Hopkins’ Unwavering Presence on the Field
Prior to the 2021 season, Hopkins had a remarkably durable career, missing only two games in his first eight seasons. He spent seven seasons with the Houston Texans from 2013 to 2019 before being traded to the Arizona Cardinals in 2020, a move that surprised many. However, last season posed more challenges for Hopkins as he appeared in just 10 out of 17 games. He faced a hamstring injury in early November, which led to him missing three games. Additionally, in Week 14, he suffered a torn ACL, causing his absence for the final four games of the regular season and the playoffs. Despite these setbacks, Hopkins managed to score eight touchdowns, making the most out of his limited appearances. Over his nine-year career, he has accumulated impressive statistics, with 789 catches for 10,581 yards and 68 touchdowns.
The Impact on the Arizona Cardinals
The absence of DeAndre Hopkins will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the Arizona Cardinals’ offense. Last season, the team started strong with a 7-0 record, marking them as the last remaining undefeated team in the league. However, their performance faltered in the second half of the season, ending with a 4-6 record in their last 10 games and an overall 11-6 record. Without Hopkins on the field, the Cardinals struggled, losing four out of their final five games, including unexpected defeats against the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks.
The Cardinals managed to secure a spot in the playoffs as an NFC wild-card team but faced a disappointing 34-11 loss against the LA Rams. The absence of Hopkins’ presence in the passing game was clearly felt, as the offense lacked its usual firepower. The team’s success heavily relies on the connection between Hopkins and star quarterback Kyler Murray.
Kyler Murray and Contract Negotiations
As if the Hopkins PED scandal wasn’t enough, the Arizona Cardinals faced additional drama surrounding their starting quarterback, Kyler Murray. Following the team’s playoff loss to the Rams, Murray created a buzz by erasing all references to the Cardinals from his social media accounts. Speculation grew that Murray intended to leave Arizona, but his representation clarifies that this action is part of ongoing contract negotiations, with Murray seeking a substantial raise and contract extension.
The Cardinals have been proactive in addressing Murray’s concerns, making efforts to appease him. One notable move was the clandestine acquisition of wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, who joined Arizona in a trade. Brown and Murray share a close bond, having been best friends and former teammates at the University of Oklahoma, where Murray achieved the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 2018.
The Cardinals’ Plan Without Hopkins
With DeAndre Hopkins out for the first six games, the Cardinals will need to rely on other wide receivers to step up and fill the void. The addition of Marquise Brown provides the team with another playmaker who can make a significant impact. Brown’s presence on the field brings speed and explosiveness, complementing the Cardinals’ offensive strategy.
Despite the challenging start to the season without Hopkins, the team remains optimistic about their chances. The Cardinals’ odds to win Super Bowl 57, according to the Circa Sportsbook in downtown Las Vegas, currently stand at +2500. While Hopkins’ absence will certainly be felt, the Cardinals have a deep roster and a talented quarterback in Kyler Murray, providing them with a fighting chance to compete at a high level.
DeAndre Hopkins’ suspension has sent shockwaves through the Arizona Cardinals organization and their fan base. The talented wide receiver, known for his durability and exceptional skills, will be sorely missed for the first six games of the upcoming NFL season. His positive test for performance-enhancing drugs came as a surprise to many, including Hopkins himself, who maintains his innocence and vows to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does DeAndre Hopkins’ suspension mean for the Arizona Cardinals?
DeAndre Hopkins’ suspension for six games will undoubtedly impact the Cardinals’ offense. The team will have to rely on other wide receivers to step up and fill the void left by Hopkins, which may require adjustments in their game plan and offensive strategies.
2. How has DeAndre Hopkins’ absence affected the Cardinals in the past?
During the 2021 season, the Cardinals struggled in the absence of DeAndre Hopkins. They experienced a decline in their performance, losing several key games without his presence on the field and his contributions to the passing game.
3. What can we expect from Marquise “Hollywood” Brown?
Marquise Brown, also known as “Hollywood,” brings speed, versatility, and playmaking ability to the Arizona Cardinals. With his close connection to Kyler Murray and their history as former teammates, Brown is expected to quickly integrate into the Cardinals’ offense and provide a much-needed boost in the passing game.
4. How will Kyler Murray’s contract negotiations affect the team?
Kyler Murray’s contract negotiations may create some uncertainty and distractions for the team. However, the Cardinals have shown a willingness to address his concerns and make moves to bolster their offensive weapons, such as acquiring Marquise Brown. The outcome of the negotiations will determine the long-term commitment between Murray and the Cardinals.
5. Can the Arizona Cardinals compete for the Super Bowl without DeAndre Hopkins?
While DeAndre Hopkins’ absence is undoubtedly significant, the Cardinals have a talented roster and a star quarterback in Kyler Murray. With the right adjustments and the contributions of other playmakers, the team remains a strong contender in the highly competitive NFL. Their Super Bowl aspirations will heavily rely on the performance of the entire team, not solely on one player.