Thursday, May 5, 2022

Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins responds to PED suspension

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After being suspended for six games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins made a public statement on Twitter.

Hopkins tweeted: “In my 10-year NFL career, I have never tested positive for taking any performance-enhancing drugs. When I found out my November test came back with trace elements of a banned substance, I was confused and shocked.”

“I’m very careful about what I put into my body and have always taken a holistic approach, so I’m working with my team to investigate how this could have happened,” Hopkins continued. “But as careful as I was, I clearly wasn’t careful enough. For that, I apologize to the Cardinals fans, my teammates, and the entire Cardinals organization. I never want to let my team down. I intend to get to the bottom of this. As soon as I have more information I will share it.”

Hopkins’ six-game suspension is the result of testing positive for an anabolic agent under the NFL’s updated PED policy.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report the suspension on the first Monday after the NFL draft. The latest news for Hopkins adds to an already dramatic Cardinals offseason that began with Kyler Murray’s contract situation in January.

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According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Hopkins will lose as much as $5.2 million in the six games he will lose in 2022. The Cardinals could choose to cut him as his suspension will void his guaranteed 2022 salary.

Of course, that’s highly unlikely since Hopkins is the number one cardinal. Hopkins missed seven games in 2021 with hamstring and knee injuries and still led the Cardinals by eight touchdowns. The Cardinals were 3-4 in Hopkins’ absence, including their 34-11 playoff loss to the Rams. In 10 games last season, Hopkins had 42 catches for 572 yards as the team won 8-2.

The three-time first-team All-Pro has 157 receptions and 1,979 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 26 games in his two seasons at Arizona.

He is eligible to attend all preseason practices and games before the regular season and will be accepted into the Cardinals active roster after game six of the regular season.

Shortly after he broke the Hopkins news, Schefter written down that the loss of Christian Kirk as well as the latest Hopkins news could be reasons the Cardinals were traded for former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown during the NFL draft.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that Hopkins’ possible absence was “actually a factor” in the attempt and success of landing Brown. The Cardinals knew the suspension was going to be a while.

Brown was a first-round pick by the Ravens in 2019. His best season ended in 2021 with 91 receptions for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games.

Kyler Murray was Brown’s teammate during her college days at Oklahoma, and her past experience could help mitigate Hopkins’ September-October absence.

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